"How do elderly patients without strong advocates get the help they need?"
About: John Radcliffe Hospital / Older people's healthcare John Radcliffe Hospital Older people's healthcare OX3 9DU
Posted by Jodge (as ),
My elderly mother was admitted with severe pain from gallstones. Within 5 days she contracted hospital acquired pneumonia. This was treated. They then suspected she had a stroke. They tried to discharge her from the stroke unit. She was unable to walk and barely conscious. We objected strenously and they capitulated. That afternoon she was moved into the medical ward and it was discovered she had a severe chest infection which had returned. The current position is that she is delerious and unable to communicate due to delerium from the infection. They are treating with iv antibiotics.
I have been appalled at the way my mother has been treated, along with medical judgement being seriously lacking as far as I can understand, basic common sense does not seem to have been applied.
If my mother survives this experience, and I have my doubts about that, I am concerned that other vulnerable elderly patients will be treated like this. The only reason my mother was not discharged in that perilous condition was because she has some very strong advocates in the form of her family.
I believe basic nursing care is lacking. Waiting 2 hours to be taken to the toilet, refusing decent pain relief, trying to discharge a dangerously ill patient, poor hygiene in the parts of the hospital that my mother has been treated in resulting in pneumonia. The food so unappealing that my mother refused to touch it because she was frightened it would make her ill. When so ill she was unable to eat on her own, no help was offered.
From my mother's experience, I believe there is a lack of communication from hospital staff, we have often been unable to speak to the doctor, we have had doctors failing to return calls when our family have expressed concern. I also believe my mother suffered discrimination due to her age. Her hearing aid was broken (by a member of staff) but it was not repaired, I have observed staff failing to recognise my mother's deafness and not ensuring that communicaion was enabled. I could go on.