Shazza has left a new comment on your post “NHS – the human abattoir“:
Having worked in a nursing home as an RMN (mental health nurse).. I would say that the amount of medications our elders are on, is staggering.
Worst – often they are not reviewed. Some are, but it really depends on the integrity/ time/ dedication of the prescribing GPs…
I managed to persuade a GP to half the amount of anti-psychotic drugs one man was taking… He was bed bound, no history of aggression or psychosis… quite why he was on them, no one knew.
Within a couple of weeks, the gentleman was able to communicate verbally, walk with assistance…
Just one example. Would have liked to see him off it totally, but i had to leave as I found it too distressing, it really affected me.
Often, the elderly are on in excess of 6 -8 different medications per day… including ironically, medicine for acid, caused by having all these toxins in first place(quite often given on empty stomach first thing, due to staffing time pressures…
(I was very outspoken about this practice and damage caused).
It used to take me 1 and half hours to dispense morning meds to 25 residents. Tragic.
Many (not all )GPs, are reluctant to come out and review medically, unless there is SIGNIFICANT medical decline.
I was recruited by a private healthcare company who seduced me with their ‘flagship dementia care’.. and apparently being non profit making…
The reality? Budget of £2.40 per resident per day, for ALL food.. some were paying £800-£900 per week for their care…
Non profit making… maybe … but the fatcat executives have their seminars overseas, drive jags etc… read this on a forum by staff members… oh, but wait – this organisation are ‘specialists in dementia care’
Finally – my suggestions, if you have a family member in a nursing home:
*Request (through Manager or Deputy) GP attend for review, with family member notified so they an be present. This is good practice anyway, to involve NOK / family.
*Do not be afraid to assert yourself with Gp – why loved one is on medication.. doseage etc.. do not be fobbed off…’is it still necessary?’
*Take note of, and research yourself. Often, people are on antidepressants which are not even helping , because they are such low doses (GP can forget to increase)
*Don’t be afraid to BADGER and go to Manager if you are being fobbed off.
*Advocates are available in each area, to represent those with no NOK.
Finally – take your loved one out for trips if you can.. anything ‘normal’ and uplifting, a few hours away…
Sadly, research shows that people deteriorate and die more quickly in homes….. partly because it is not heir ‘home’.. the standards of care vary greatly…
OFTEN THE INDEPENDANT HOMES ARE OF BETTER CALIBRE.
HOWEVER, PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT IT IS A HUGELY PROFITABLE BUSINESS.
The Alzheimers Society are a fantastic online resource for dementia care…also Age Uk.
Apologies for rambling nature – I am very passionate about care for our Older Adults!
It would appear that we were deliberately kept out of the loop, and at the future needs case conference a senior nurse who was the ward superior (coicidentally married to a local authority Senior OT who had been involved in assesing mum for adaptions before the fall) ran out of the meeting in tears when very politely pressed for a diagnosis of what was wrong with mum after 2 months observation. We knew but couldnt prove they were sedating mum in the hospital, it was that obvious and mum said herself she thought they were.
The whole system stinks, and from what we can se even now mum is home, they are more interested in labelling her with dementure than actually progressing her mobility and independence.
On a previous article someone had commented that the doctors and senior medical staff are on retainers from the care homes. We would go along with this, some very shady things were and still are happening, and the stand off’s I have had with physios and community nurses who turn up with unnamed “observers” who ask very obvious trick questions to catch mum out and continually harp on about dememture in front of her, mum is in her 90’s for Gods sake, what do they expect?
Although one good, but likewise sad thing is that mum is well aware of their behaviour and absolutely tackles them when they dare mention anything she doesnt agree with. Fancy serving your country during the war and then working all your life to then be asked trick questions at the her age to enable the corrupt to take her assetts. How as a nation have we sunk so far?
Sorry its a bit long and garbled but its an emotive subject and trying to condence the last few months into a few paragraphs isnt easy.