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Carers UK Forum • who do I believe
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who do I believe

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:15 am
by Daisy
After a lot of heart searching we made the decision to move our son into a local care home. He has autism and severe learning difficulties and challenging behaviour.
Until now we thought we had made a 'good' choice. He appeared to be doing well apart from the odd blip. The manager seems to know her stuff and has lots of experience and has said that they are delighted with the progress he is making.
He comes home every weekend and when we went to pick him up the deputy manager asked me to step into the office. She then presented me with a catalogue of our sons behaviours, including he went to punch a member of staff (he has never ever shown that behaviour), it takes 4 staff to shower him (he loves water)he is throwing furniture and has thrown his beloved portable tv/video. She was disparaging about another parent 'if his daughter clicks her fingers Dad jumps' She also questioned the amount of meds our son takes (a very low dose) and she feels he should be on more. She also said many of the staff are afraid of him.
I was gobsmacked, I have always found her a bit sharp and tried to avoid her on visits but I am now wondering if she is being honest and the manager is glossing over incidents.
We are off on a long awaited first proper holiday in years on Tuesday and Im now very worried about him.

Re: who do I believe

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:26 am
by crocus
Hmmm, difficult when its one persons word against another

Are there any other signs that the deputy manager could be right eg does his TV/video show signs of having been thrown? Could you discretely ask other staff how he is doing and get some other peoples point of view?

I think ultimately you will have to go to the manager and say that you are concerned because you have heard that your sons behaviour is becoming challenging and see what she says. If the deputy manager is right then you need to know, and if she isnt, then the manager needs to know what has been said.

Re: who do I believe

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:37 am
by Lazydaisy
These incidents if they have actually happened,will have been recorded.So it is worth asking to see the written evidence.
Sorry to hear this,and I do hope you are able to go on your holiday.xx

Re: who do I believe

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:01 pm
by rosemary
Do you not have 6 monthly reviews with them so that any events like this can be discussed to find out reasons etc. Adjusting living in a new place is difficult for anyone but when with disabilities it can take longer as many here know. If you dont have actual meetings you should be receiving copies of written reports.

Our R had a very unsettled time at 1st, serious incidents wherein staff needed hospital attention too. Working as a team though we persevered and he has been with them residential now for 6 yrs. We still have ups and downs, a few major ones too. Simple things like changes to staff rotas could upset him. Anything that changed his daily routine. We have worked on this though and he accepts change a bit more easier now.

Some times we doubt the decision we made but then reality takes over. We could not cope at home but more importantly home was not the ideal place for him. No matter the Love that surrounded him, still does, he is our world, he has a life now. He attends working farm, college, craft centre and his social life on weekends/evenings is one I would welcome myself Image He comes home weekends, all main holidays for much longer.

It has been a long journey, took us over 15 yrs to get to where we are today and I hope you can get this sorted so your sons future is more settled too

x x

Re: who do I believe

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:15 pm
by Daisy
Thank you for your replies, its lovely to think people care enough to help. Family and friends tend to tell you what they think you want to hear!
Rosemary, you are so right. We love him so much but it isnt enough. We had him home for a few weeks and took him away on holiday. We had forgotten how hard things can be. The care home have achieved some things we couldnt. He has had his hair cut and is now clean shaven and they are starting to take him out and about. All things which we sadly just couldnt do.

Re: who do I believe

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:30 pm
by ladybird
Hi Daisy

My daughter moved to residential care a year ago. The placement broke down after 7 weeks, she was moved to a hospital for people with LD and severely challenging behaviour, she still lives there. She only has mild learning difficulties by the way.

After the "honeymoon" period at the hospital she gave them hell, basically they didn't know what had hit them. What I found was that some of the behaviours that we were experiencing at home were replicated but due to the new environment ie nothing there that she could smash, she took it to a whole new level and showed different behaviours, stuff that we had never seen before, stuff that was very worrying.

It settled down. Image She still has what they call her "tizzy fits" but they are shortlived and she too is doing very well in residential care. I would hazard a guess that this is what is happening with your son Daisy, different environment so his behaviour is manifesting itself in a different way, even damaging the things that he likes best. Trouble is although they have LD they still have strong emotions just like everyone else, they just struggle to express them..hence chucking things around.

The main thing is that you are in touch so can keep an eye on the situation. I would ask to have a meeting with the manager because this deputy sounds a right character. Image
They are being paid a lot of money (understatement of the year!) for looking after your son and it is their job to work out strategies to manage his behaviour. She should NOT be telling you about the staff incident, questioning you about his meds or gossiping in a disparaging manner about another parent, that is really not on.

It sounds to me like your lad is happy and as his mum, I think your sixth sense would kick in if he wasn't..up until now you thought he was happy so why let this twit of a woman try and make you think otherwise?

Go and have a wonderful holiday. Myself and my hubby had our first break away by ourselves this year, just four days but it was bliss. All the signs point to your boy being very well cared for so I think you should pat yourself on the back. Residential care is not an easy decision to take and one that is often frowned upon by others...those of us who have had to make the same decision get it totally.

It will be ok xx

Re: who do I believe

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:30 pm
by Melly1
Daisy,

it sounds to me like the deputy manager wants an easy life - ie your son medicated up to the eyeballs would make her job a lot easier. She doesn't sound a very professional character and is suspect your early dislike of her was with good reason. If there were concerns re his behaviour why wait until there is a whole catalogue of them? There are going to be blips - he is settling into a new place, new routines, new expectations; they are having to learn what makes him tick, what works/doesn't work and how to pre-empt problems before they develop.

I would ask for a meeting with the manager and discuss with her what the deputy manager has said. Does your son have a key worker? If so, they would be a useful person to talk to. I would ask about the showering scenerio and want to look at his careplans to troubleshoot them. I would also make sure that they are aware of early warning signs that you son is getting stressed and how they can intervene earlier to help him feel calm.

Re your holiday; you started your post with,
we thought we had made a 'good' choice. He appeared to be doing well apart from the odd blip.
if the deputy hadn't spoken to you, going on how your son seemed, you felt he was fine and doing well. I think you should phone on Monday to speak to the manager and then arrange a meeting for after you get back.

melly1

Re: who do I believe

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:43 am
by charles47
Looks to me as though Melly has covered the bases, as they say.