When I called in to see my brother at his Nursing Home at 10.30 am yesterday I was told he was tired and had gone back to bed. So I moved on to visit my mum in her Residential Home. As always she asked me if I’d come to take her out but when I returned from fetching her coat she was fast asleep in the chair. I stayed with her for a while before heading off to see my brother’s wife. This is when I was reminded how respite had led to disaster for John and Jean.
Almost 5 years ago when Jean was on her knees she booked John in for a week’s respite. Towards the end of his stay he had become aggressive with a staff member; police were called John was taken away and eventually Sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
John was detained in the local Mental Health Unit for 6 months before any Nursing Home were prepared to take him. A couple of months ago he was evicted from Norton Grange Nursing Home because his wife complained they were not dealing with his oral thrush.
I was shocked when I saw John yesterday afternoon. He is a shadow of the handsome fun loving man I have always been proud to call my big brother.
Respite for John was a disaster. He has never been a violent but man we will only ever have the Respite Centre’s version of events: that is why Jayne Connery is right: CCTV in Dementia Care Homes must become mandatory.
I have decided to stay in Coventry another night and hope to take my mum out today.