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.