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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

Case Studies

''No Christmas cheer this year....''

Added on 15th November 2020

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable supporting families who say care homes will not be facilitiating face to face visits in time for Christmas

Families are contacting Care Campaign for the Vulnerable telling of the distress when informed by care homes they can not facilitate safe visits to loved ones at Christmas time. Rachel, whose dad has dementia and lives in a care home tells how she failing to get into the ''Christmas spirit'' being apart from her Dad.

''Less than six weeks away from Christmas and what a year we have all had. In my village where I live people are already starting to put their lights and trees up hoping to raise spirits. I can’t feel that Christmas feeling. I want too, but I can’t.
From the beginning of this year in January I have experienced a degree of loss I never ever thought I would. In January I lost my brother (not by blood but by heart) he was 45. Coronavirus hits the headlines which throw us all into panic, and disbelief and lives change dramatically. I gave up work in January to care for my parents who were struggling with their health and wouldn’t ask for help. I chose to do this as I am their only child and they are my world. I became their key worker. My mum, a selfless woman who always put others before herself, had a wicked sense of humour was struggling to live her life. Mum had very rare blood cancer, heart failure, COPD and osteoarthritis in every bone. Mum is my best friend, I am her only child and we have shared so much over the years (as well as the same birthday) but she was now unable to do much for herself or her dad so it wasn’t a difficult decision to help her. My dad, a retired solicitor, a proud independent man, meticulous in the way he led his life, struggled with the care of my mum. My dad suffers from age-related macular degeneration and is fast losing his sight. Our journey began on April 18th 2020.

Rachel's Mum and Dad on their wedding day

On April 18th my mum had to go into hospital for an emergency blood transfusion (this was the only treatment open to her) it was a day case so dad came to spend the day with us until she was ready to come home later that day. By lunchtime, I had received a phone call to say that they were unable to do the transfusion as her oxygen levels were too low and she would have to be admitted. My parents have been married 45 years and were soulmates and the thought of them being separated frightened them both. My partner and I decided that dad should stay with us until she came home. My mum and I are used to speaking on the phone every day and seeing each other frequently. By 25th April I was told my mum had three months to live.

Not being able to see her, hold her hand while she was told this broke my heart meanwhile I tried to always remain positive when I spoke to her and in front of my dad and my children (one of which has special needs). By the 28th April, we were told she had a week. I can’t fully remember everything as by this time my dad who was living with us was showing some very odd behaviour and acting out of character. But we pulled together and found strength in the love we all had. On 3rd May we got a phone call to say mum was desperate to see us and they were going to allow us in to see her. Dad and I went. We were there for 3 hours, holding mums hand, my dad sat there throughout not saying a word and completely expressionless.

As we left to take dad home for lunch (I assured mum I would be coming back!) dad and I were stood in the hospital car park when my dad turned to me and said, what a sweet old lady I had taken him to see. I couldn’t believe my ears, I explained that this lady was my mum - his wife! He looked at me in utter disbelief. I screamed in that car park as it dawned on me that my dad now didn’t know who his wife was and even in photos. His memory of my mum had gone On 4th May at 10:15 am I got a phone call from the hospital to get there as soon as possible. I arrived at 10:45 am and my mum died holding my hand at 11:15 am.

''My world collapsed...''
Once home, my dad wouldn’t talk about mum, didn’t recognise photos, and couldn’t organise her funeral as he told me “I don't know the lady!” How on earth we got through the funeral and weeks that followed I will never know but we did - we had to.
On 23 June my Dads behaviour was getting worse, he was interacting with hallucinations etc and now couldn’t read or write. He was having full-on nightmares which he could “see” unfold in front of him. By that evening I suspected he had a stroke and rang for an ambulance. Dad was taken into hospital where he lived in a total hallucinogenic world, didn’t know who I was anymore and contracted Covid. On July 23rd he was moved to a Residential home and formally diagnosed with rapid onset of Lewy Body Dementia. I have seen him twice since then for a total of fifty minutes. I am desperate to see him and have a hug. He is declining rapidly mentally and physically. I can’t deal with anymore heartache this hurts like nothing else. The home seems to be doing everything they can, and they seem to be looking after him very well but I’m his daughter and he is my dad. We need each other, I’m terrified I could lose him and not be able to be with him.
Everyone deserves to be loved, hugged and appreciated. These are our fundamental rights and what we all need to survive. Without this what are we? What do we or they live for?''

Care Campaign for the Vulnerable support families who say Christmas this year will be very different from those gone by. Families tell us care homes are not facilitating face to face visits with elderly loved ones in time for Christmas. If interested in this case study pleases contact us at ccftv.cares@gmail.com

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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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