It is 2 years since Dad left home to go into Ormskirk Hospital, for assessment of his medication, never to return. His vascular dementia / Alzheimer's was getting worse and his behaviour difficult for mum to cope with. This condition had come upon him pretty rapidly following a fall and head injury. He had a variety of medical issues including a faulty heart, dementia, epilepsy, high cholesterol etc. We asked for an MRI scan but this was not deemed necessary. He had been prescribed a drug which appeared to be making him worse and was not receiving a very good press even in the Alzheimer's Society web page . Despite repeatedly questioning his medication (the usual response being 'leave him be now, he's had enough messing') the dosage was increased over a number of goes, which often left dad unable to stay awake. Even the neurologist who saw him was surprised at his level of consciousness and asked the attending nurse to take his concerns back to the psychiatrist. Although most of the female nurses were caring towards dad we never felt at ease. It was very upsetting to see a straight-jacket lying around the ward, as if it was there as a warning to the patients. These people are somebody's father, mother, brother etc and the decision to let them be institutionalised is difficult enough without the vision of them being restrained in this way. To cut a long story short, we breathed a sigh of relief when we could get him into a nursing home and out of the hospital. Dad is doing well under a new psychiatrist who has listened to our concerns and has taken him off the drug. He is leading a fairly normal life, with its ups and downs obviously, and in friendlier surroundings. He has once again found some interest in his newspaper and books and TV. All things he had given up doing when at home and in the hospital. With cases of dementia likely to increase in the future, one can only hope that health practitioners learn to treat these cases with more care and respect.
"Elderly Mental Health Problems"
About: Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust Preston PR5 6AW
Posted by JD (as ),