Care Home Professional worrying article

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One of the lawyers I follow on Twitter, Matthew Scott, posted a link to an article from Care Home Professional

'Curiously unsettling solicitor's advice on how to run a care home. ... tive-hell/'

It's by a solicitor and headed 'Ask the Expert: Managing the Relative from Hell'.

Here's a bit:
'You’ve all had one! Turns up at antisocial hours, interferes in care, upsets the staff, makes constant complaints without basis, instructs care changes against professional advice. These are difficult problems and need firm and fair handling. Here’s a few initial pointers:

Make sure you document any event- facts, times and dates (use a diary). Otherwise it will be denied!
Be understanding reasonable and proportionate – people do react nervously to change combined with the distress of a declining relative; do not be too quick UNTIL…
It is clear you have a significant problem. Then act decisively and quickly.
Remember that the resident is your concern not significant others, however, significant they think they are.'

It's not all wrong, but I think it might encourage care home professionals to be more combative and divisive. 'People do react nervously...' and that includes the staff.
Hubbys nursing home.....well it is very good. I have to put my trust in the staff. However, little doubts creep in on admittedly few occasions. .ie his face being so badly bruised. I'm 90% satisfied with the managers investigation. She says lessons have been learned, re documenting etc. The other visitors all feel the same. Except for 2 who constantly complain. It must be hard for staff there is a stream of complaints each time they visit. But, I also understand, because so heartbroken. We can't look after our loved ones, want perfection, but that's not possible. So, as you can probably tell,its a mixed bag of emotions.
Makes an interesting read from the other side of the fence. Thank goodness for being self funding, if you pay the bills you are in charge whatever this jumped up solicitor thinks!.
I think it makes it extremely important to be on top of your own diary , perhaps backed up with photos on your smart phone downloaded and printed of indicents if at all possible.
If I ever found a relative in one of the care homes following his advice, I should most certainly be a relative from Hell! I do wish more people would report things to CQC although they do seem a bit toothless.
My daughter emailed our concerns and mentioned the words safeguarding and Care Quality Comission , body mapping..... Just so the manager understood we are on the ball so to speak. My two daughters and myself have photos. I've also been taking photos of any bruising on his hand. We don't go ranting and raving, but are more than capable of being relatives from hell if needed! Someone has to be his spokesperson. He's got 3.Wish wish wish I could look after him, but like thousands of others it's not possible.
I know it can be tricky, but presenting oneself as 'concerned' rather than 'accusing or angry', and seeing whatever it is one is unhappy about as a 'problem to be solved' , can help make staff feel 'onside' etc etc.

A sort of 'Oh, dear, what can be done about.....?'

It's a way of phrasing things, of being 'sympathetic' to them and the situation, but also to be I suppose 'persistent' in making sure the 'problem' is either solved, or never happens again!

But as I say, it can be tricky to get the balance right, and we don't want to feel we are being 'fobbed off' with glib answers and assurances and then hustled out of the door.....!

I feel sometimes it's sort of like being at a parent's evening at school - unless one is actually so unhappy with the set up we take our children/elderly out of the school/home, then we HAVE to 'work with' the teachers/staff.

In the end it's the noble art of 'getting other people to do what we want them to do' (!), and usually the 'sunshine' method works better than the 'north wind' method.

There are, definitely, those parents/relatives who go storming in and just put people's backs up instantly, and that is just not productive in the end. On the other hand, not coming across as a 'pushover' is also important or we do end up being fobbed off.
Hopefully the author never finds himself in the position of having a relative living in a sub-standard Care Home !
As for the bit about 'turns up at anti-social hours', well, for a lot of relatives calling in 'after hours' is the only possible time, given a working day!

Also, of course, we know the whole idea IS to turn up 'unexpectedly' so we see the place 'as it really is' etc etc....

At my MIL's home, they specifically tell me I am welcome 'any time' and that is very reassuring. I once turned up mid evening as I'd just arrived in the westcountry and wanted to 'look in' on MIL.

That said, I guess turning up in the middle of the evening and expecting to get the manager/nurse whatever to be instantly available for an hour's discussion about the resident is probably not courteous or considerate if nothing else. Or when they are serving food or doing the meds round etc.
When someone moves into a home everyone is likely to be exhausted and stressed. Homes should understand this, talk to the relatives and offer reassurance and maybe a shoulder to cry on, that their loved one is so poorly that they need 24/7 care, on the last leg of life's journey.
susieq wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:28 am
Hopefully the author never finds himself in the position of having a relative living in a sub-standard Care Home !
Indeed, because if he did ...

Virtually all the comments under the article are critical of the the article/ author

There is usually a written contract between Home and resident. That should clearly set out expectations on both sides. For example resident not to have noisy late night parties, Home to provide 3 meals a day etc. I would hope it would contain rules for visitors too, from both sides.
I'm sure none of us would visit drunk at 2 a.m but I'm sure someone somewhere does!

I'm hoping this article is just written in such a sensationalist form to get attention and that most Homes would have policies and procedures in place that things would never get this far