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 Care Campaign For The Vulnerable

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS


The Road Is Long

15th February 2019

The Road is Long...by Joy Dey

A daughter's experience in care

It is generally considered that, prior to hauling someone over the coals,one should, first, give the good news! The good news is my Mother who lives with Alzheimers is living in her fourth care home in 6 years and now thriving. The road has been long but with the help of those close to me and the endless support from Care Campaign For The Vulnerable we ‘got there’ and I am forever thankful.

Over the course of 20 plus years, I have witnessed the good, the bad and the downright ugly. Safety monitoring I always knew would have addressed /highlighted most or all my concerns, if installed in communal areas.

While my focus, as an entertainer, has generally been on the Power of Music, particularly for those living with dementia, my interest widened when my own Mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I was forced to look for a care home.

Having visited many care homes over the years, in my work, I chose a care home that provided an excellent Manager and Activities Coordinator. My Mother sang in her youth and music was always a huge part of her life, so that aspect was particularly important.

Unfortunately, the AC was forced to quit the job due to illness. The Manager left and things went downhill from there. I visited regularly, practically every day, and noticed my Mother was extremely poorly one evening. I insisted on calling paramedics and she was rushed to hospital. Fortunately, she survived. She returned to the home and, within 2 days,she had been given another resident’s medication and suffered a fall, together with a myriad of other concerns. She was admitted to hospital again following a string of UTIs. It was suggested that it was not in her best interest to return to that home and a new home, very close to me, was found. Things began well but, unfortunately, Social Services visited and recommended I move my Mother again. The CQC were called in and many problems were uncovered.

The third home, in, Kent, started well. I was met by a lovely Assistant Manager. The home was clean and the staff seemed friendly. It was still close to me and meant that I could visit every day if I wished. It transpired that I needed to. I was aware, initially, of the lack ofactivities but I knew I could cover that aspect. Further, my Mother would have to travel to her 1st floor bedroom, the only room available, by stair lift. I wasn’t happy about this and asked if she could be moved to a ground floor room when one became available. I asked about this possibility, from time to time, but I was always told that “she had settled into using the stair lift”. This was also stated in her care plan.

''The food was insufficent and I always had to bring in proper nutrious food for mum'' Supporter Joy Dey

Shortly after my Mother moved into this care home however, the Assistant Manager resigned and the Manager left some time after. The owner took charge of management which I feel was a mistake. The food provided was of poor quality and I felt forced to take supper in, daily, for my Mother, so she had some proper nutrition. I considered packet soup and jam sandwiches wouldn’t quite suffice. Even lunch might consist of pasta with a spoon of tinned tomatoes and half a tinned hot dog. It was not good enough.

'' Mum is doing really well in her new care home. Carers are trained well and the home is really great - giving mum more person centred care.''

Some of the carers shouted at the residents and appeared to have little or no training in dementia, together with a lack of training in other areas too. During a discussion about activities one Senior Carer stated “this lot are too far gone”. The same Carer stated, shortly before it was decided that my Mother should be moved elsewhere, that I was a “f****** nuisance” for asking for help to stand my Mother, so she could get some exercise.

I had been informed by staff that my Mother’s mobility was poor. She was always wheelchaired everywhere, so no surprises there. When she suffered a second heart attack, the owners of this home did not arrange for the recommended OT or Physio to visit. The local GP suggested “we just forget about it”. Despite being told about my Mother’s lack of mobility, however, a member of staff informed me that she had ‘gone missing’ from the toilet and found by the fire escape. This brought into question her safety, as her room was at the top of the stairs and there was no gate or barrier. I was told this was an isolated incident!

Following this, I stayed late one evening and spoke with the night shift carers. I was interested to learn if my Mother often ‘got up’ unaided. I was told that she did. I was also told that she had most certainly NOT settled into using the stair lift. When I approached the owner about this, it was denied. I was informed that one of the residents (affected by dementia), since passed, used to scream all the way up and down in the stair lift, as if that should console me?!

I filmed my Mother in the stair lift, with the permission of the carers. They made suggestions and took over some of the recording. It was quite clear my Mother was uncomfortable with it. The myriad of physical ailments would have also played a part in her discomfort.

There followed a ‘Best Interests’ Meeting. Essex Social Services did not want to pay for my Mother to move to a Ground Floor Room and I could not use her money to pay the top up. The owner did not support my Mother. The GP - who arrived with a flu jab (despite my Mother’s records and care plan stating an allergy) - appeared to have little or no interest or knowledge of dementia and how the daily use of stair lift might affect my Mother. I was forced to engage a Solicitor and a private OT to confirm my Mother’s ‘need’ to move to a Ground Floor Room. This was carried out,but shortly after more problems arose -too many to list It was decided, last July, that my Mother be moved to another home. It is further away from me, but I had confidence that I would no longer need to visit every day. I was correct. The new home is, thankfully, excellent and my Mother hasn’t looked so well in a long time.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH JOY, PLEASE SEND ON YOUR CONTCT DETAILS TO ccftv.cares@gmail.com and after verifying we will pass on with permission

We are sponsored by

Winncare is delighted to sponsor the Care Campaign For The Vulnerable and fully support their commitment to safeguarding the vulnerable elderly. Our organisations have shared values based on supporting care home residents to live safe and fulfilled lives.


The Eagle lifting cushion, combined with the ISTUMBLE health assessment app, empowers care home workers to make good decisions around lifting residents that fall. Winncare’s work to safeguard residents’ lives aligns with CCFTV’s ambitions to protect the vulnerable elderly looked after in long term care facilities.

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Care Campaign for the Vulnerable is learning of the pressures faced by conscientious led Care Providers striving to offer a caring and safe environment to both service users and staff. Safety monitoring is proving to be a invaluable care assist tool - bringing a more open and transparent culture into care homes as well as saving valuable resources within the care home sector and the NHS

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