"During the period of the visits mum’s attitude improved"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Mental Health Services for Older People – Inpatient

(as a relative),

My sisters and I had asked for an assessment of our mother as she was becoming paranoid about things going missing from her bungalow – money and other things being stolen. She thought that I, her son, was going into her bungalow when she was out. She had started to become depressed, tearful and threatening to take an overdose of pills or to jump into a river. She was also reluctant to leave her bungalow because she thought I would go in when she was out. This has been a sudden marked deterioration in her mental attitude which concerned all of us. Mum suffers from dementia and has very poor short term memory and constantly repeats herself.

Sarah Birch and a colleague arranged to visit Mum and my elder sister and I also attended. We were all invited to discuss and explain the circumstances behind our request for help. My sisters and I had prepared notes which we discussed and passed on to Sarah. These were entered in to Mum’s case file. As a result of the meeting it was arrange for one of the IRIs team to visit Mum daily, except for Wednesday’s when she normally goes out for a specific period. Mum was quite receptive to this and she enjoyed her visits, chatted with mum and encouraged her to do jigsaw puzzles which she enjoyed trying although she never progressed much with them as they were possibly a little complicated for her and too large for her to sit comfortably to do.

During the period of the visits mum’s attitude improved as quickly as it had deteriorated and she was no longer tearful when we visited, and her paranoia subsided, possibly because she thought that her door locks had been changed. Sarah rang to inform me that she had discussed with the team and that they did not consider mum to be a danger to herself and that the service would be withdrawn, a conclusion to which my sisters and I all agree.

I agreed with Sarah that if we detected future deterioration in Mum’s mental state we could contact the IRIS team direct. The response and concern of the IRIS team was excellent and we were very pleased that the daily visits were put in place. It is a pity that they had to stop but it is understandable in the circumstances, particularly the improvement in mum’s attitude. It was good that mum was encouraged to try activities in her home, as although she does have a social life at local centres she tends to become very solitary and withdrawn at home. Perhaps the jigsaw puzzles could be made easier.

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Response from Claire Watson, Assistant Practitioner, Mansfield and Ashfield Intensive Recovery Intervention Service, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Claire Watson

Thank you for taking the time to post your story about our teams (mansfield and ashfield IRIS) involvement with your mum. We are pleased that we have been able to provide you and your mum with the support you both needed during this period of time.

I will ensure that the rest of the team are made aware of your feedback.

Thank you again

Kind regards


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