I had a phone call on Thursday to tell me that Mum had "had a fall" just outside her room and was on her way to hospital to be x-rayed. I was tempted to get in the car straight away but I was advised to wait until the results were in. It turned out that there were no broken bones and Mum was back by the evening. I resolved to drive over on Friday.
I arrived in the early afternoon, and found Mum quite happy and not suffering any pain. Sitting in the Lounge, we had a cheerful conversation with a few of the other residents. Mum's face darkened a couple of times when she told me that she hadn't fallen but had "been pushed over by two girls". It was clear to me that she was referencing a childhood story that she repeats frequently, but the Home had launched an investigation into the incident on the basis of Mum's allegation. I was able to add some context there, hopefully saving them some trouble.
Life in the household is very calm these days. A couple of the more troublesome residents have moved on (one died, the other was placed in another home), and the atmosphere has noticeably improved. The staff have more time to spend with the residents and the residents, in turn, aren't annoyed or distressed by the old troublemakers.
However, there's a problem ahead.
The Home has decided to create a "High Dependency Dementia Unit" to cope with exactly such difficult cases. And they have decided that they want to base this Unit in Mum's household. The Relatives were "consulted" last week (I was unable to attend), but apparently the meeting went badly. The Home presented a fait accompli, telling the Relatives that the plan was going ahead - the specialist staff had already been hired. In turn, the Relatives told the Home that their elderly charges were happy and settled and were NOT to be moved. It seems that the Managers were a little stunned by the vehemence of the reaction. This might look like a stalemate, but I was told that they will simply wait for natural attrition and then move more "challenging" cases into the vacated rooms.
This means that the idyll is doomed.
Of course, this all comes down to money. There is FAR more money to be earned from the State in looking after difficult charges. I am bitterly disappointed that this organisation - a charity - is behaving in a fashion more suited to a business in seeking to maximise profit ahead of the wellbeing of its existing residents. I'm all for them starting up a new unit, but I wish they would leave their existing clients to enjoy a peaceful and relaxing end to their days. If only a "calm and pleasant" unit was prized (and priced) as highly as a "complex and unpredictable" one.
Mum could, of course, be moved to another household in the Home, but she would lose contact with the staff members on whom she currently depends, to whom she has grown close. Also, I chose Mum's room very carefully - it is at the end of the household, away from the noise of the Lounge and with a very pleasant view over the garden and a field. If Mum were to be moved to the first available room in another household, she is bound to suffer from the upheaval and she would inevitably be placed in a less advantageous room. As someone who is paying full whack for Mum's care, I feel outraged that decisions like this have been taken without my consent. It's like paying for a good hotel room and then being switched to a budget chain after a few nights.
I have made several attempts to speak to someone at the Home about this but have been fobbed off, told that someone will call me back, which doesn't happen. On Friday, I was told that the person who had been avoiding my calls was now on leave, but that the General Manager would speak to me later - he then left early. I am becoming annoyed about this. I intend to pursue this one and raise some publicity about what's happening.