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care home issues - Carers UK Forum

care home issues

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hi , i been forced to ask for a opinion again, my mum has been in a home for about 6 months , she half her weight however the home insist she put on weight yet everyone that sees her remarks she lost so much weight anyway a more serious issue has arisen, my mums arm is covered in finger mark bruises and i raised this with her social worker , this resulted in a safeguarding meeting at mums home , one social work and the manager and deputy were present, i argued my case , trolley being left outside mums door full of cleaning stuff bright colours , the bruises well i was told they bruise easily now at that age" , I felt like i had to prove every thing i complained about , when i take my mum out we have to open the car windows because of the smell, mum remarked please don't hurt my arm anymore , she complained her bottom hurt, when i remarked i tried to see whether she has hurt herself or if it was bruised i was warned don't do that by the social worker ,,, she still in bed at 1.00pm sometimes 2.00pm so i complained about that , i 'm seriously worried about my mums safely now but social services one excuse after another ... please someone advise me how to tackle this injustice for my dear mum before it's too late ...


Hi Robin,
The marks you show in the picture are very similar to marks my Mum had and I too wondered if they were finger prints. However google 'mottling of skin in elderly' and see if any of the information there rings any bells. Check whether the marks are on just one arm or both, or indeed anywhere else on her body.
As for the sore bottom and smell ask to see the practice Nurse from your Mum's current GP. (I found this personage to be very helpful ). Has she had to change to a new GP since being in the Home? Ask for a urine check to be carried out in case of a Urine infection. If you have POA for Health then you can insist that you see her weight records, they should be weighing her regularly at the home. If not, ask the practice nurse to check them if they refuse you on the grounds of 'confidentiality'.
As for being left in bed, I think the best you can do is get there in the morning and see what is happening as regards getting up and also breakfast. I found that the Care Home staff were far too keen on taking an answer from my Mum as the final word. So that if they said 'do you want to get up' and she said, 'not just yet', then she would be left until they had time later. Or they would bring her breakfast and if she refused the first mouthful, then they would leave it with her and go away to help someone else. It was always 'She refused' or 'she didn't want to'. No coaxing or coming back in five minutes to try again as I would have done. They spent far more time writing detailed notes as to what had been done than actually providing a caring attitude.
I know exactly what it is like not having confidence that the chosen Home isn't providing the amount of Care that you would like, even if they are doing everything 'by the book' and recording it in minute detail. I was seriously considering looking for another Home when my Mum's health deteriorated so much and so quickly that she couldn't be moved and I spent hours every day providing the personal attention I thought she needed, including encouraging her to eat and drink. (Which she increasingly refused to do).
I believe it is true that elderly skin, being thin, bruises more easily, but then they should be taking time to handle her more carefully. Time they never have because there are other residents to get in and out of bed. If it is 'mottling', I believe that it is a condition common to the very elderly or there may be another cause. Is she warm enough do you think?
All the best
I would ring the Care Quality Commission - give your details and a local area inspector will ring you in response. I did this recently. The Inspector will take time to allow you to raise your concerns. At this stage you have no idea if you are the only person ever to complain, or whether they have been flooded with complaints. They will then explain what their next action will be.
Thank you ..... my mum saying "please don't hurt my arm" did set alarm bells off, the other thing is i been trying to get her to a more local home , two homes have turned mum down , only yesterday i was told because they feel she settled in now ...the social worker remarked it is known that they can go downhill if you change their environment again,,,bit no one told me this ... feeling very let down ..

Thank you for the excellent advice..
Robin, hi - if this is any reassurance, when I saw your photo it reminded me immediately of my MIL's arm. She too has marks like this (sometimes), and she had them even when she was with me, before she went into her care home for dementia. She got quite a lot of eczema too (now cleared since the care home treated it!). Her skin is very thin and papery. She is 92, and very 'physically fit' for her age, so it does seem to be mainly the skin that is so delicate.

As for that rather alarming 'please don't hurt me' - yes, that sounds scary, but it doesn't necessarily mean that the staff are being 'brutally rough' with her - it could simply mean that her skin is now so, so thin and delicate, that even quite gentle 'handling' may make her flinch - and she may now need a lot of manual 'handling' - is she incontinent now, sadly? If so, imagine how much 'handling' that will require - and of course so will helping her dress, and have showers, and so on, or even just getting on and off the toilet.

When you visit, watch what the staff are like with all the other residents. Are they 'gentle' or 'brisk' etc?

But, of course, it is essential what you are doing - keeping a close eye on them, and wanting decent answers for why your mum is as she is. I hope you can indeed transfer her to a place that is closer to you, and you can have fewer doubts and questions. As for saying that she is used to where she is, well, yes, but that doesn't mean she can't get used to a new place! It is one of the 'advantages' so to speak of dementia that she won't remember the previous place anyway. My MIL is now in her third home (it was about her desire to 'escape' from her former ones, that has meant, sadly, she has to be in a secure place, for her own safety.)
thank you , there have been quite a large number of instances,..

Mum eating body butter that she picked up within the home , made her ill for about a week..I discovered in her bag

Trolley outside her door full of cleaning fluids etc for a hour or more and slippy floor in her bedroom, happens every now and then..

Thanks again,
Robin, in addition to CQC, I would ask your local branch of Healthwatch if there are any concerns with the home. They can do unannounced visits too. Also have you spoken to other relatives? Are they happy with the care their relatives receive?
Robin, take photos and keep a diary. It sounds increasingly worrying.
hi, on Saturday , mum was still in bed at 15.00, when i mentioned going out she was up very quickly , i was informed that she been up all night and remarked she will be if you don't get her up, more bruises on the other arm circular type ..

She smelt so bad .. yesterday i saw her washed for the first time in two to three weeks.

Robin, your mum should always be clean and smell fresh in residential care. Is it a care home or a nursing home? I'm wondering if she might need more care than they should be expected to give? The boundaries are a bit grey, but roughly speaking, in a care home people should be able to get up and about with fairly minimal help and support. In a nursing home they should be able to do anything and everything someone needs, including hoisting with two staff if necessary.