Viva Voce

At the start of next week there’s a meeting at the hospital which may decide Mother’s fate.

I understand the hospital wants firm decisions to be taken about where Mother will go when she is medically fit to leave its portals.

The family, on the other hand, wants an information gathering session, and for any decisions to be deferred until we know if Mother’s leg mends properly, and for the sore on her heel, a legacy of poor care in the same hospital, to be history. Only then, we feel can we make an informed decision.

There should be a good turn out. Doctors, trauma nurses, OTs, physios,a social worker, a District Nurse, someone from the scheme where Mother lives, three members of her family, a family friend if he can make it, and if we’re lucky, a representative from the Alzheimer’s Society.

If the hospital insists, and I don’t know if it can, that a decision is reached then and there, Mother won’t be returning to her flat, quite simply because at the moment we don’t know if she’ll be able to walk.

On the other hand, we do know that people living with dementia do better in familiar surroundings.

If she does have to go to a home, presumably the hospital will do an assessment as to whether it’s a care home, a care home with nursing or a nursing home.

And that’s before we know where there are vacancies or how the funding works.

If there’s a place in a home we don’t want her to go to and a waiting list for one we prefer, how does that work?

I feel as though I have spent every spare hour on the ‘phone trying to gather advice and information. Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones facing these dilemmas, and the advice and helplines are so busy they can only promise to return calls in 48 hours.

Tomorrow is the last opportunity. If the planets are all aligned, I am hoping for call backs in the afternoon, so that when I go into this meeting I have a clear idea of what to expect, what choices we have and what questions to ask.

It feels as though we are preparing for an oral exam, a viva voce, rather than attending a meeting where we can expect help and support.

And when the dusting will be done is another question entirely.

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15 thoughts on “Viva Voce

    • Awesome? Not sure I understand. But that applies to so many things!
      Must get to bed. Have just downloaded some stuff a good friend has sent re dementia care…
      Not Cat is playing with his CatIt toy v loudly having been forcibly brought indoors.
      He is not going to be happy about being back in the car.
      Oops. He’s dismantled CatIt and the ball is being rolled across the floor. Time to go!

  1. It would be good if the DN who attends the meeting also knows your mother along with someone from the scheme, who will…. the problem is if the meeting gets too big decisions can be more difficult.
    Could there be an option of a ‘cottage hospital’ as an interim measure where she could have rehab input, before a decision is made?

    • I think it will be one of the DNs who attends Mother.

      I spoke to Mother’s GP today. She suggests we ask for a move to respite so that we can see how well she mobilises after her plastercast comes off.
      If Mother’s sore heel is not sorted I think she’ll be prone to repeated infections and that will continue to make her wobbly. The GP thinks she could go on for years, but would not be surprised if she dies in a few months.

      I have reached the point where I cannot even look at more information without drumming in my ears. so I am having the evening off, and trying to rest tomorrow.

      • I feel the right respite would be a good move and give you a chance to sort out other options. Have you looked at respite options?

        • Sort of.
          I have reached information overload.
          Some things make less rather than more sense now.
          I want to have as restful a day tomorrow as I can, focusing on other things.
          I’m working Sunday morning, Then I’ll go East , pick up Aunt and we’ll see Mother.
          I’m hoping on Monday to be clear-headed and open-minded.

    • Yes, Monday.
      My head is still whirling.
      I am so glad we had several members of the family there.
      When I’ve processed it possibly I’ll post, but parts of it left quite a bad taste in the mouth.
      Mother is losing weight despite extra calories. It doesn’t help her sore heel (grade 3 it was grade 4 so down to the bone) to mend.

      • I started asking you lots of questions in this comment – then deleted them. I do hope some decision was reached and a plan formed.

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