I’m new to this so I hope this post is allowed.
I just need some advice. I’m trying to find my elderly neighbour, whom I cared for and visited regularly for 9 years. She started getting terrible hallucinations (senile dementia) and ended up being taken into hospital. But since that happened (2 months ago) I haven’t been able to find out where she is. I just want to know she is ok and would love to visit with her.
The issue here is her daughter and son in law are not very nice people who never visited her before and over the last few years have been utterly awful to her. But, because they are family, they are the only ones who know where she is etc. And they have said they won’t tell us where she is. I’m just so worried that she thinks she’s been abandoned.
Does anyone know of a way I can find out where she could be? I have tried her social worker many times but to no avail. TIA
There are HUGE communication problems, due to “client confidentiality”!
Twice, my mum has been taken to hospital by ambulance in the middle of the night. The lifeline call centre called the ambulance, then me. That’s the end of their involvement.
The ambulance staff didn’t tell me either, because mum said not to disturb me in the middle of the night. They didn’t realise I should be told later.
The hospital didn’t contact me either. No excuse for this, they have all my contact details.
In the end, I had to dial 999 to find out.
When I finally found out, I rang the hospital. I was in Somerset on holiday with my disabled son.
The hospital still wouldn’t talk to me on the phone. They said how could they know i was me!?
No coaxing would persuade them to talk to me, so we had to cancel our expensive holiday and go home, then to the hospital, via mum’s as I knew she would want nighties etc.
Her zimmer frame was in the hall. She couldn’t walk without it.
When I arrived at the hospital, they said they were about to discharge her - so nearly a wasted journey, again, no one told me.
I asked if they’d see her walk, knowing the Zimmer was still at home. No.
I then insisted that she had a full Continuing Healthcare Assessment, much to the annoyance of the discharge nurse, as it was Friday afternoon and that meant the assessments could not be done in time for discharge that day.
Later that day, the physio visited mum, and said that under no circumstances should mum EVER try to stand again.
After a spell in hospital she spent the rest of her life in nursing care. So much for being well enough to go home.
Firstly, welcome to the forum.
It’s fantastic that you have been supporting your neighbour and are concerned about her wellbeing. This really is an issue of “client/patient” confidentiality. Unless your neighbour explicitly states that she wants to know where she is and allows you to visit her or contact her then the family can withhold this information. You can always try to contact her via the family, just to understand if she is okay. You can always try to contact the local mental health team or community groups like “Age Concern” that might have been or are still in touch with her. If they are still in contact with her they can ask her if she is willing to give permission for you to visit or speak to her.
It seems so sad that elderly people are lonely in hospital, and there are people keen to see them outside hospital, and no way of putting them in touch with each other.
A slim chance if you think she could still be in hospital. Even if she is not you could send a letter address to the hospital PALS dept. They should give it to her or forward the letter to where she is. Keep a copy of your letter.
At least you can say when you see her again. That you tried everything that was possible.