Sunday, May 04, 2008

Not in the same league ...

as Calum's complaint but a grumble about the NHS.

Auntie Maud is in a convalescent hospital now. She is better than she was but the consultant is concerned because her cough isn't going. He fears the pneumonia shadows may be concealing something nasty and wants her to have ... um ... one of those things when you go in a tube. (It's 10.30 and past my bedtime.) She doesn't want to.

Anyway she can't go to the toilet on her own so has to rely on the nurse to bring her a bedpan. On Saturday she asked the nurse at 10.50 am for one. The nurse said, 'hang on, I'll be back now.'
At 1.20pm, Auntie Maud called her again. The nurse snapped, 'I only have one pair of hands.'
Auntie Maud isn't one to be snapped at so she told the nurse what she thought but by then it was too late and she'd wet herself.

To be fair to the nurse there were only two of them on duty, looking after about 18 elderly ladies, but that doesn't excuse rudeness.

Auntie Maud is 88. She deserves respect and, even more importantly, to be allowed to retain her dignity.

As I said, nothing compared to the treatment meted out to Calum's wife, but it is symptomatic of an understaffed institution.


jmb said...

A catheter is the word. I can see why she would not be happy about that (and they have their own set of problems, like urinary tract infection) nor the fact that she is dependent on others to help her with toileting. I think this is one of the things that elderly people have most problems with, loss of control over bodily functions like this.
I hope that was a one-off situation for her sake.

CalumCarr said...

Your Auntie Maud deserved better treatment than she got. The reasons why are irrelevant to her.

Let's hope that the rest of her stay goes better.

mdmhvonpa said...

Unfortunately, you know that this sort of thing will not change much. The nurse will not be fired, additional staff will not be hired and more elderly folks will be remitted to the ward.

MissKris said...

I'm not sure how the health system works in the UK but when my Dad first got stuck in a care center, it seemed to be ok. But we'd come and find him with clothes on that didn't even belong to him, dried food dribbled down the front of him, and he was stuck in a wheelchair out in the hallway all day. Since he was completely paralyzed on one side, he couldn't even maneuver himself anywhere. His second wife raised a HUGE stink about it and he was moved to another facility that was small, clean, and had excellent staff who looked after the patients there like family. Dad was there 'til he died at age 84, and he was quite happy there, considering he wasn't able to be home. Let's hope your poor auntie can find better care!!

leslie said...

That's terrible for your Auntie. We were lucky to get my Dad in a care home that is one of a kind here - it's the epitome of care for the elderly with all sorts of geriatric problems - they were so kind to Dad and us. But even there, however, Dad's clothes got mixed up or lost even though every piece was labeled with his name.

jams o donnell said...

Agreed Liz. Even if the staff are overworked there is a professional duty of catre - and that does not mean snapping at patients.

Suburbia said...

That's so awful. Poor thing. It can't take that long to get a bed pan. The same thing used to happen to my granny in hospital and that was over 15 years ago. Shocking that nothing has changed. I hope she'll be ok.

Anonymous said...

Well that is dreadful - I am quite determined not to get old ! I amback in work bythe way - did |I mention that - well I havent started yet, just got and accepted the offer!!

Rose said...

I'm afraid this kind of situation occurs everywhere, at least it does here in the US, too. Good for your Aunt for speaking up for herself!
My grandfather used to say, "It's hell getting old." But he was able to stay out of a nursing home until he was nearly 100.
There's got to be a better way to help the elderly.

CherryPie said...

She should have been treated with a bit more consideration!

Mauigirl said...

Complain about it to the supervisors. I don't care how busy they are, it only takes a moment to bring someone a bedpan.

My mother-in-law is in a nursing home now and my father-in-law is on them every minute if they don't do what they're supposed to. And I don't think they mean to be neglecting anyone, it's just the old "squeaky wheel gets the grease" syndrome.

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