I found it really difficult to be with my Dad last night. He couldn’t sit down. His hyperactive behaviour scared me – what if he had another fall? The realisation that it will be a fall or pneumonia that actually kills my Dad is, well, words fail me. Neither are a good way to go. I think knowing that there is nothing that can be done regarding either is the hardest thing. Good news though – Dad has been shaved and he wrote in a birthday card for my Mum. The most loving, beautiful message. I cannot comprehend how much brain power it must have taken to do it. I love how much he loves Mum. xxxx
Status update: Tuesday 24 October.
So. My Dad is still in Addenbrookes on what is on the whole a wonderful ward – G4. He’s been there for just over a full month now. It was featured in the Guardian a couple of years ago when a lady who was medically fit to leave for weeks and weeks on end couldn’t because carers could not be found for her due to her location at home. On reading it you’d be forgiven for thinking <shouting> “REALLY???? WE LET THIS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE???? REALLY????” but as we are in the middle of it, I can tell you that it is a true twilight zone.
My Dad has been assessed through the NHS Continuing Healthcare Diagnostic Tool, his status and needs have gone to a panel who have agreed that he will need active nursing care for the rest of his life and that he needs to go a dementia nursing home. So far, so good. But keep up. Because now we are in a place where we are waiting for someone – and we haven’t been told their name so we can’t follow it up – to help us find a suitable place for dad, which has a space for him and is nearby enough so that we can go and visit him.
It’s been a full week now that he’s been approved. A full week of us waiting to be told of our options for him. Ha. Bless me. Writing about options. As though there are plural of them.
I actually phoned the discharge planning team on Friday to ask for help in making contact with the right places – so I could go and visit them with Mum over the weekend. The person at the other end of the phone refused / wasn’t allowed / blocked me from having the direct details of the people I’d need to hear from. I shit you not. But I could have some other details of a Cambridge office who would then pass my request on. And of course, she’d phone and pass on a message for me. Five days later, have we heard anything? Have we? No. We have not. [I originally wrote ‘have we fuck’ there, but my Mum may read this and she hates me swearing.]
I think we’ll be told that there’s one place and we can take it or leave him there on the ward. And then we’ll be on a naughty list if we don’t like the place that’s been found with a bed and is nearby and theoretically meets the requirements. I know of some of the places that are on the list. I’ve already made enquiries.
One place told me that they don’t have a dementia unit and feel awful when families like us try to ask for a bed because they can hear that we are desperate for someone, somewhere to help us – to love our Dad like we do, and they just can’t find anywhere. Two others have not returned my call. That speaks volumes doesn’t it?
So we wait. And we go to visit Dad. And pray that he doesn’t fall over again and that nothing more serious happens to him than already has.