BBC Essex 01.Nov 2010

Interesting to see what panarama disclose on this evenings program at 8.30pm

We discussed on the show today the use of Gp’s prescribing anti psycotic drugs to patients with dementia.

Well did you know that your Gp had prescribed them to your loved one?

Do you know the side effects could be permenant or long term?

Have you asked the questions about what drugs do what?

From my experience I would have appreciated the care home my dad was in to have explained to me that when I arrive in the mornings there maybe from time to time a situation whereby I will find him completely sedated. I did not appreciated just walking into the home to find him in this type of state.

It was a complete shock to my system wherby the reasons he was there in the first place was one issue however to find him motion less, unable to walk or speak and function was horrific.

I am very strong individual however nothing prepared me for what I saw happened to him. I wonder how he must have felt?

Some individuals do slide into a terrible phase. If my dad had ( and he did not) I would have liked the care home to have explained what medication and circumstances may have been necessary in order to have settled him and calmed him down, I would have liked the side effects and consequences to have been given also. People are not stupid. They know their loved one has dementia and is suffering and the inevitable will happen at some point. They know they can be a handful at times. They need the power to make infromed choices not have their power taken away from them.

Do you not think that they need to be given respect and kept in the loop. Be honest with the families and let them have an informed choice.

As far as the care home was concerned on reflection, I believe they need more training, the right people in these jobs, they need to be monitored and checked all the time and so do the staff. It is not enough just to be able to work in a care home because you cannot get a job somewhere else.

Our loved one’s are vulnerable and need protectin at all times.

I also beleive it was a cope out and it was all to much effort.

Sedation was their approach.When did anyone ever consider it’s impact on the one who finds themsleves in this situation. You enter univited into the world of shock. Unable to comprehend what is happening. That is what makes me angry. Peoples lack and consideration to the family. When did someone decide that this was ok. Is it a misuse of the system? 

No wonder I sensed the staff were nervous when I went in. I tried to make sure nothing was going to happen to mydad while I was about.People earn trust.

Working away this morning a thought entered my mind, so I reaserching anti psycotic drugs today one of the side effects was a chest infection.

When our immunity is low we pick up viruses. Dementia as we know strips us of all we know. More and more sensitivity rolls into their lives.

It has made me reflect on the last month or so of my dads life. He and the residents where all sick with a chest infection.

Dad could not shake his off. I wonder if any drugs were given to him in the form of anti psycotics without any one thinking of the consequences or telling us.

He died a month or so later of a chronic lobe infection. As I lay by his side adminstering chest Physio with the Physiotherapist he lay fighting this awful infection and I have never experienced anything like it. The smell and the consistency was enough to make me feel sick.My relationship with him allowed him to trust me and thank god he did.

I am 18months down the line working away best I can, experiencing the void of what happens after your dad passes away. People have short memories – they think your ok now.

Grief is a strange thing. It has been a testing and time trying to figure out what to do with my time, now I no longer have my dad to look after.I think whats made it worse is that we were great friends and loved putting the worlds to right and having lunch at the seafront cafe.

I can go to the cafe where I used to take him now and not be upset and appreciate our time, I was truly blessed. Now I am experiencing the void- no mans land. It neither one thing or the other, however I do know that all things come to pass and sooner or later I will feel different.

I have to remind myself what I would say to my clients from time to time.

If your having a great day go with it.

If your having a bad day go with that to. It’s ok to be upset somedays even though it feels exhausting and there are not enough beauty treatments out there for my eyes to reduce the redness when I am upset. At some point maintaining my balance will become easier and the void will exist on a much smaller scale.

Am looking forward to Panarama tonight I am sure it will enlightening.

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