A tale of terrible woe

Neighbour’s husband, advanced dementia. Severe incontinence
Stoke, went to hospital.
Kept in for 3 weeks.
Discharged 2 days ago with promise of 2 carers 3 times a day.
Wife found that husband could no longer walk when he got home. Too weak.
Carers left without helping as no hoist installed.
Wife calls ambulance and re admitted to hospital today.

I did warn her some time ago not to have him home unless
full care was in place.

Chalk another unsafe hospital discharge up on that slate.

How tall is it now ?

Even Nelson looks up at it from his column in Trafalgar Square ( 169 feet 3 inches ).

Tell your neighbour to contact PALS in the hospital and make a complaint.

well done to the wife for calling for an ambulance to get him re-admitted. Does she use the internet? There’s info here she will find helpful on avoiding this happening again Coming out of hospital | Carers UK
When she has the energy she should definitely put in a complaint. Worth contacting PALS as Sunnydisposition suggests, although some PALS teams are better than others.


There’s been an underlying theme of late in several posts, and as happened to my mother: a person goes into hospital for several weeks or months, they are confined to bed, or part time in a chair if lucky, and are discharged back home in a weakened state, their muscles having been wasted so they are unable to walk and fend for themselves.

So very convenient for hospitals to keep patents confined to their beds, but at what expense to patients’ quality of life, families ’ despair and cost of care?

Exactly same thing happed to my elderly aunt admited to hospital last xmas with what we now think was probably a UTI ,very weak in hospital so spent most of time left curled up in bed,we had to push for Occupational/Physiotherapy support to come and try and get her moving,some days they put her in chair,after doing blood test etc never found out what was wrong with her so after 3 weeks they ended up sending her to a care home for “reinablement care” as she could no longer stand etc as her muscles were so weak,she was also deemed incontinent!easier not to take her to toilet I think!they then decided she was unable to walk and would never be able too (even thought before she collapsed was out shopping everyday without even a walking stick)so no follow up after care to try and get her moving,went straight to hoisting her,at one point she had become so weak and thin they decided to test for bowl cancer!also diagnosed with dementia while in “care home” we felt we were banging our heads against a brick wall so took the decision to bring her to live with us.
Not an easy decision.Had Occupational Theraphy come round to do an assesment as to our bungalow being suitable for her to come home to,we were given a hospital bed + Air mattress,hoist and the view she would be "cared for " in bed and even her social worker (useless) used the phrase "at least she can enjoy whatever time she has left with family!"Almost a year later no bowl cancer,no signs of dementia!,no hoisting able to use a transfer board,dry during day,weight and muscle came back but unable to walk due to the fact she was left so long without any physio,we had a lovely Physio come and visit us after we pushed for it and he did his best with exercises etc but he admited the damage was done by the hospital basically just leaving her laying all that time and it wasnt the wasnt the first time he had seen it happen.Yes we probably made a rod for our own backs but we will see what happens!

maria, wow, she’s so lucky to have you. I’m so interested by this as my elederly mother is sometimes inclined to stay in bed all day. I constantly find reasons for her to get dressed and moving and am sometimes worried that I’m pushing a bit too much though I do do it gently. Your story convinces me it’s a crucial thing to do. Good luck with it all.

Maria and P’co,
Just proves the saying, ‘Use it or you use it.”

Terrible assumptions made about the elderly when admitted to hospital. My Friend was telling me about her and we had a fall and overnight until she was discovered more than 24 hours later. I think friend was telling me about her and we had a fall and overnight until she was discovered more than 24 hours later. Broke her hip I think. Spent some time in hospital and in so-called rehab. In hospital the nurses seem surprised she could talk, even more shocked that she could read! She then insisted on reading every word of whatever she had to sign, revelling in making the nurse wait until she had.

The NHS are quick to state that all the people quickly deteriorate in hospital and therefore should spend as little time as possible. However little seems to be done improve the situation.
Hey, Chris, has any research been done on this issue?



Hey, Chris, has any research been done on this issue? >

" Not more ****** homework ? "

On it , I’ll post whatever is most relevant on deteriation in NHS hospitals.

( Connected posting on sufferers from Parkinsons Disease posted earlier this morning … or … should that be mourning ? )

Nothing available from a statistics angle.

Skirting around a little … early warning signs … Royal College of Nursing … provides some insight but NOT answers :

Warning score system for patient deterioration due to be standard across NHS by 2019

In my opinion , and given what may be found in the main NHS thread :


An inevitable meltdown in care within the NHS due to several factors … organisation / finances / quality of staff ( A little harsh … perhaps motivation ? ) …
even the state of some hospital buildings ( Brand new Glasgow flagship hospital campus complex being a prime example. )

Difficult to isolate " Deterioration " as a separate issue within the bigger picture of the meltdown as a whole.

Suffice to say , disjointed organisations … NHS / social care … individual parts of the WHOLE ?

Until BOTH start firing on all cylinders … inside one umbrella … the present situation will only get worse.

( Strange … how that GREEN PAPER ON SOCIAL CARE … is being formulated WITHOUT taking into account the NHS ??? )

Mum paid bills, walked every day and cooked for herself at 94. She worked out which utility company and plan was better for her quicker than the utility guy with computer could! Surprised the heck out of the new graduate!!!

She had a dear neighbour who did a weekly shop, and someone to mow the grass.

Within a couple months in hospital, she was described as having ‘acopia’!

I need to see if I can find the paper i read on bedrest. Sounds innocuous but soon has profound and lasting effects on mobility, strength, agility AND psychological wellbeing!!

Even for those of us relatively “fit and well”, we are now being told that we shouldn’t sit for longer than about an hour. I try to get up a couple of times during TV-watching in the evening, even if it’s just to go to the loo, make a cuppa or get the washing.

Also I now try to do some of the things I would previously sit down for (folding washing, for example) now standing up.

About a year ago I was visiting a physiotherapist because of a dodgy knee. Apart from a prescribed set of exercises she gave me, she also said that one of the most important things you could do to maintain mobility as you got older was to never use your arms to help yourself up out of a chair - not always easy, but I’m trying!

I can’t understand why patients in hospital are not encouraged to move about
as much as they are capable of doing. Take walks at least twice a day. or even just sit
and move arms legs about within their capabilities.
I walk an hour each day, including a hill climb. Also do some exercise
indoors too,
Putting on fat around the tum is dangerous.

Right, Albert. With two assistants, Mum fell down ( or was that a slide? which didn’t need investigation). She soon lost confidence and the nurses, pt, took that as an excuse to leave her in bed…

Just imagine when a doctor goes on his ward rounds he is heard saying to a nurse,
“When did this patient last do any exercise?”
“Why is she in bed when she could be sitting in a chair moving her arms
and legs about. I’ve told you about this before. Get it done, nurse!” :slight_smile:

Although I agree completely that staying immobile is terribly harmful (I’ve had two major operations in the last 18 months and the staff have encouraged me to mobilise as soon as I possibly could, even when I was in intensive care for 8 days I could transfer to an armchair at the side of my bed and do seated exercise to prevent blood clots), there can be another side to the coin.

My 95 year old aunt has been in hospital for just over a week after collapsing at home and lying on her bedroom floor for possibly up to 48 hours (she lived alone and would not accept carers going in), has been treated for an infection and responded well to antibiotics, is now much less confused and agitated. Prior to this incident she was able to walk with difficulty in her own home but was really struggling to rise from a chair or get up and down the stairs, and had not been outside her own house for over 5 years. She had never been willing to seek treatment for her arthritis (possible knee or hip replacements might have made all the difference if she’d had them years ago, maybe).

Now she cannot weight bear at all, the nurses and physios have repeatedly tried to get her to stand or transfer to a chair but she is physically fighting them so they cannot use force to get her to do it. She doesn’t have dementia, it is just another form of her lifelong tendency to make stubborn decisions which aren’t in her best long term interests. Luckily the social worker whom my brother met with today agrees. She is to have a 12 week placement in a care home to see how she settles in - if the staff there manage to cope with her they will have my undying admiration. My brother and I are so relieved, we were dreading the social worker deciding that she still had capacity and could insist on returning to her home.

Hi Albert, again. That’s pretty much what happened when I took mum to A&E with what turned out to be a provoked DVT. Her consultant ordered the head nurse to find out why mum was bedbound with no PT. That’s when they said the request for PT had gone to the wrong district. We’d been waiting for nothing!!

The consultant didn’t take mum’s age as a reason because her father in law was still gardening at 102!!! There are some good consultants out there, but others are satisfied with confining patients to bed.

As my Aunt had never owned a car and was cycling into her 70’s it was awful to see the lack of mobility,I dread to think how bad it would have been if she hadnt been as active before being taken into hospital!!
As she loved cycling we have managed to get her interested in using one of the small pedal exercisers.She can sit and watch TV and do a bit off pedling which is ideal as its non weight bearing,although sometimes she does seem to use it as a footrest when your out of the room and only start again when you comeback!she loves singing so some “cycling songs” can help get her motivated too so shes not thinking about what shes doing,it is hard to get her motivated as it all seems such an uphill battle to her for nothing and we have had tears over the shock she feels having lost the ability to even stand in such a short time.

The pedal exerciser seems like a good way to keep moving. Mum had an Homedics walker exercise thing, electric powered. Very gentle but it did help with blood flow. Sometimes, every little helps… :frowning: