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Care & carers

Old people being mistreated in their own homes

(55 Posts)
medlar Wed 23-Nov-11 10:00:06

There's another report about old people being mistreated today

These stories seem to follow one another with depressing regularity - first hospitals, then care homes, now human rights abuses in your own home.

If this were children there would be an outcry - quite rightly. Is it me, or is it that no one wants to think about the elderly?

JessM Wed 23-Nov-11 10:16:22

As a counterpoint to this, I was talking to DMIL yesterday about the high staff turnover in the carers that come to her.
They have to provide their own cars.
Guess how much they get paid per mile... 10p
(Most office workers are getting over 40p these days, and are complaining it is not enough)
If their cars are off the road they can't work and can't earn.
Small wonder they are all trying to get jobs in care homes!

The common thread here is that both oldest and youngest are cared for by people (mostly women) with fairly low levels of training/education and pay.
Society's priorities and the exploitation of women rule, OK.

jingl Wed 23-Nov-11 10:21:34

It's ridiculous that the carers are only allowed to give 15 minutes to each visit. (as was stated on Today Prog)

How can that be enough time?

supernana Wed 23-Nov-11 12:09:34

Elderly people are regarded [by some] as being child-like but not necessarily "cute"...and that's why I'm willing to undergo invasive surgery in the hope that, a few years down the line, when I shall be far from "cute" and in need of assistance I may be better able to cope/wash/dress/feed myself. If not, I shall go for a long midnight swim in the ocean...

greenmossgiel Wed 23-Nov-11 15:45:45

I hope that day never comes for you, supernana. I would like to end my days in my own home, but not with uncaring people who I don't know looking after me -isn't that what we'd all want? What an ending to a life where the person has probably fought in wars, fought to feed their children adequately and laughed and had fun - so many 'carers' do not take this into account. In any decent caring establishment correct and appropriate training is given before the 'carer' can do the job. However, behind the closed doors of an older person's home, or even in an actual establishment, this training can be disregarded. sadangry

supernana Wed 23-Nov-11 16:35:55

greenmossgiel I would so love to live in a happy, peaceful, caring community of like-minded elderly persons. We could all have our own "patch" and be as busy or laid-back as we wish. Whenever a member needed assistance, he/she would know that the able-bodied are happy to help. I've got my eyes on a few GN - just in

Carol Wed 23-Nov-11 16:50:13

Good idea supernana we could colonise a little community and make our own arrangments for how we receive care. Grey power!

Quiltinggran Wed 23-Nov-11 16:57:55

A brilliant idea supernana It sounds ideal. A couple of friends and I have talked about doing something similar but have never got beyond the "wouldn't that be a great idea" stage!

supernana Wed 23-Nov-11 17:01:59

Carol and Quiltinggran...keep in touch. You never know...xx

Quiltinggran Wed 23-Nov-11 17:03:57

Will do, supernana xx

JessM Wed 23-Nov-11 17:20:07

MMM - I was just having similar thoughts on the i hate xmas thread about gransnet...

greenmossgiel Wed 23-Nov-11 17:59:01

What a good idea! We could have our own 'commune'! I would happily do my bit for that! smile

Gally Wed 23-Nov-11 18:16:32

Can I book a place too please? grin

jingl Wed 23-Nov-11 18:26:20

They were just talking about these people on Radio 2.

jingl Wed 23-Nov-11 18:35:27

And Abbeyfield are offering free meals or even an overnight stay at their homes for any old people who may be alone at Christmas.

Faye Wed 23-Nov-11 20:15:23

My eldest sister, my brother and I had to step up and take over our mother's care as she became increasingly ill and frail in this last year. My mother was being abused in her own home by my second sister. I have written about it on Gransnet previously.

Now that my mother is in the final stages of her life, the doctor yesterday said Mum probably only has about two weeks to live. We know for us, we have done the right thing by not leaving her care up to others. My brother has also been at hand and helped. In the last four months my mother has lived at my sister's house and they have also been able to get as much help as possible, some of which is supplied by the government. (Showering, cleaner, special food etc).

It's not always easy to look after an elderly person, but pulling together has worked for us and especially my mother. Also my sister's house is very old, which my mother loves. The town is old and interesting and the surrounding countryside is lovely so my mother has enjoyed as much as she could in the circumstances, staying with my sister who has taken Mum out as much as possible. Mum also asked my sister to phone the second sister as she would like to see her. I think the circumstances in which a person passes on often determines how those left behind cope with the grieving process.

em Wed 23-Nov-11 20:32:43

Faye you are now in the position that my sister and I were in nearly 4 years ago. We looked after Mum at her home until she had to go into hospital for treatment for an acute chest infection. She had COPD and really there wasn't much the hospital could do for her. She was quite well treated in hospital but for the 4 days she was there, was utterly miserable. So we took her home. She was totally compos mentis and insisted on signing the form that said she was discharging herself against doctor's advice. She had established that they couldn't do any more for her than we could at home. (With her GP's help, we'd set up the system to have oxygen cylinders supplied and had been shown how to administer it as needed). We took her home on Thursday and spent a pleasant, relaxed afternoon as she relished being in her own room. On Friday she seemed more confused but enjoyed a visit from all the grandchildren. On Friday evening my sister and I, with our sons, sat on her bed and held her hand as she slipped away. I am so pleased we could do that for her and my own children have assured me that they will do their utmost to see me off in the same quietly contented way. Things may be difficult for you in the next week or two but stay with it. You and your sister seem absolutely able to cope and in years ahead you'll be able to say, in all honesty, that you did your best for your mum.

Carol Wed 23-Nov-11 21:08:10

Such lovely memories for you and your family em. That would be my ideal way to leave this world, in such a peaceful and comforting way thanks

gracesmum Wed 23-Nov-11 21:40:21

It helps if other family members are willing to share in this important care. My sister lives in Canada and the "burden" fell very much on me at 350 miles away to organise care and visit every half term/school holiday, even weekends when I would drive up on Friday (accommodating Head) stay saturday and drive home on Sunday. Sadly, at the last although my sister had actually flown back from Canada and was with me and my father when he died, she did not feel abe to stay and be with me for the funeral, leaving me to do all the aranging alone. Alone was very much how I felt too, especially when I took 2 urns of parents' ashes to the cemetery and buried them on my own.
On a more cheerful note, when our beloved labrador had to be put to sleep, it was handled very tactfully and caringly by our vet and Islay went to sleep in the arms of the person she loved and trusted most in the world. On coming home, I told DD how peaceful an end the dog had had and said one could not wish for better oneself. "Well Mum, when the time comes and you feel ready, just let me know and I'll pop you over to the vets"

Sbagran Wed 23-Nov-11 22:59:39

Faye my thoughts and prayers are with you over what will be a difficult time. It is great that your brother and sister are rallying around you. My brothers were the complete opposite when our mother was going downhill - long story and not for now.
However my dear husband rallied around and supported her and me - Mum often said that he was more of a son than son-in-law. She was in a wonderful care home - we saw her regularly, taking her out in the car etc and generally 'seeing her right'.
Her final couple of weeks were calm and comfortable thanks to the dedication of the care home staff, her wonderful GP controlling the pain so perfectly (she had the big C) that she was comfortable but 'with it'.
On the afternoon she died DH and I had been sat with her for nearly three hours. She was totally relaxed, occasionally opening her eyes and having a sip of drink. Her favourite hymns CD played quietly in the background. We knew she was likely to go sometime in the next few days and we knew she was ready to go spiritually, physically and emotionally.
We decided to take a break and get something to eat. We planned to ring the home that evening and if necessary go back across or return again the next day depending on their advice - they were brilliant in caring for us as well as Mum. As we prepared to go something said to me "Don't kiss her goodbye, don't disturb her, she is totally relaxed and at peace" so we crept away blowing a kiss from the doorway.
We hadn't been home more than 5 minutes when the home rang to say she had gone. We went straight back over and she was in the exact same relaxed and peaceful position - the only difference was that obviously she was not breathing - her CD was still playing and as we went back into the room it was playing the hymn 'Going home'
It breaks my heart when I hear of elderly abuse and am so thankful that Mum had none of that. My brothers didn't care but we did. The care staff were wonderful. Her death was so calm and peaceful the only way to describe it is 'beautiful' as she had obviously just slipped away with no trauma or distress.
It really helps the grieving process when someone dies like that. We miss her so much - it was two years ago last week - but we cannot be sad for her and I really hope Faye that when the time comes it may be as beautiful as was the case with my darling Mum.
Keep up the good work my love and remember we are all here for you. God bless.

harrigran Wed 23-Nov-11 23:49:43

Faye my thoughts are with you.

Carol Thu 24-Nov-11 10:57:28

Geraldine's article is interesting. Maybe we could raise the profile about ageism, and even get a culture shift. So many other countries regard the elderly as wise and to be venerated.

Carol Thu 24-Nov-11 10:58:48

Here's the link to Geraldine's article

Annobel Thu 24-Nov-11 11:44:09

Well said, Geraldine. I've put the link on my Facebook page.

susiecb Thu 24-Nov-11 11:45:39

I was a District Nurse for a very long time and managed a large community nursing service (160 staff) the stories we could tell about home carers beggars belief. We reported and reported every incident we had seen and very little changed as its so hard to provide evidence. I have recently had to arrange some further support for my MIL and have done this through Age UK who are wonderful and monitor their staff very closely so I do recommend them. As monitoring is so difficult perhaps we have to go down the route some parents have taken with childcare i.e. security cameras for our loved ones.