Dealing with care homes tactfully

As in my previous thread, I’m sure I’m not alone in this situation, unfortunately. Can anyone suggest ways I can tactfully remind the care home and the staff of things that need to be done please? I’m running out of stock phrases and smiles and I’m never sure how I’m being taken anyway as people often think I’m being rude when I’m not (thanks ASD). Twice on Monday I asked a question of someone in Dad’s room and they said they’d go and find out, never to be seen again.

Dad’s been in the nursing home 4 weeks on Friday and he’s been in pain pretty much from day 3-4 off and on. The first time it was because his prescription for paracetamol was ‘as and when - up to 4TD’ so they didn’t give it. He didn’t ask because he didn’t know he wasn’t having it. I had to battle to get them to agree that the wording of that script allowed him to have it QTD until the doctor could change it at the end of week 1. When the doctor agreed it it took another battle in week 2 to get them to put it in place. Then he fell (also in week 2) but the person with him didn’t consider it to be a fall (he started from standing and ended up with his backside on the floor - that’s a fall in my book) and he ended up in a lot of extra pain but nobody knew why or considered that this was very new pain. Monday (beginning of week 4) he was like a zombie, totally out of it because he wasn’t sleeping because of the pain and it needed 2 people to get him up and they thought they were going to have to use a hoist. My dad was living alone until he came into the care home! (albeit with lots of care but still moving well around his 3 bed house). I kept my eyes open and realised he wasn’t having his paracetamol so I enquired if I was right and sure enough, they’d forgotten to put him onto a regular dose when the did the drug charts for the month. Also on Monday he didn’t have a drink anywhere near him (he’s getting over a UTI) and he had no loo roll (and not even the inner tube so he hadn’t run out without them knowing.) I’ve finally been told today that his care plan has been done but they don’t have time to go through it with me until next week. I’ve had to ask about 5 times. I keep having to ask if it’s okay for him to have a plate guard every single meal, if they can cut his food up every single meal, to find out where his clothes are etc. I’m trying to be patient and understanding and kind and I’ve kept saying how grateful we are for everything they’re doing etc but I feel that if I wasn’t there keeping on top of them he’d been in a really bad way. His skin on his feet is all cracked and peeling between his toes because they are not checking his feet but he’s had cream between his toes which he shouldn’t have (it’s a greasy emollient so traps moisture). I’ve tried coming at it from the POV that it’s hard for me to let go and things have been missed in the past in hospital / GP etc that I’ve had to interfere in to stop him getting seriously ill, so it’s not a reflection on their care etc (soothe soothe) but I’m running out of patience and kind words!

What tips and techniques can you suggest so that I don’t irritate the heck out of them but I still advocate effectively on his behalf? I fear I already have a reputation for not lettings go / picking holes!

Thanks muchly x

If I couldn’t get an answer I would email politely and cc the owner if the nursing home into it. Usually had a response as the owner knowing didn’t go down well! I wouldn’t worry if you are irritating staff. Your dad’s well being is more important. It’s difficult I know but you are entitled to the courtesy of staff at least getting back to you. You won’t be the only one asking questions about a loved one. I also insisted on reading his notes. I was told by the manager families have every right to do so.

Henrys Cat - it’s a horrible position to be in! My Mum was in a care home that I wasn’t happy with for several months. I am never rude either but I am quite direct because I don’t see any point of “going round the houses.”

If I were you And they won’t find the time to talk to you then write them a letter, listing everything you are concerned about and say you are either looking forward to a swift response or a meeting to discuss this further.

It is your Dad and he is more important than any staff who might be offended.

This is absolutely awful for your father and you, he shouldn’t be going through this.

You need to forward your latest email to the owner and manager.
This is:-
derogation of duty of care

They are in breach of their contract and their responsibilities for your fathers care.
Inform his social worker.

State in the email your concerns, you have politely asked for things to be resolved to no avail,
tell them:-
-They are neglecting your fathers needs, in breech of contract and derogation of their duty of care
-you expect their intervention to meet your fathers needs and careplan
-neglect/incompetence ceases now
-you have informed his social worker.
-If there is no improvement this week you will be reporting this to the CQC regarding their lack of care.

You could also threaten with an expose in the papers if they don’t shape up - not that you would want to but they don’t know that.

Their lack of care is unacceptable and disgraceful.

CQC - care quality commission, the people to report poor care to, they will contact you back to discuss and see if their intervention is required with the care providers.