My father is being deprived of his private caregiver and has been declining ever since

Jun 4th, 2020

 

I have written to my father’s care home, to request the reinstatement of my father’s private caregiver.

I understood that in the initial start up of the Covid 19 outbreak, it was recommended that all non-essential visitors be restricted.  I am concerned for my father’s health and well-being the longer he is left without his caregiver. In November 2019, I had a meeting the care home, during which we discussed among many things my father’s hearing aids.  It was determined at this time that there would be a specific place allocated for his hearing aids in order for ‘everyone’ to know where they were located and so that they would be put in his ears daily and removed nightly.  I had thought that this was now a practice.

In April, it took over a week for me to communicate to staff to ensure that my father’s hearing aids were put in his ears so that he could actually hear (inquired: April 22, 23, 24, 26 and 27th).  There have still been occasions when his hearing aids are not put in.  I also had to direct staff as to the changing of the batteries in his hearing aids. They usually only last a week or just over a week.  To date:  I have no idea if the batteries are being changed.  Does he need new batteries?? There is NO communication to me as to what supplies my father requires.

On April 21st, my father was ‘unresponsive’ in his room right after dinner as caregiver(s) were present. Vitals were taken and his sugar was 11, BP and Oxygen good.  What caused the ‘unresponsiveness’?

I have been picking up my father’s soiled laundry weekly and bringing in clean laundry.  Initially, I was only getting soiled pajamas.  It was at this time that I signed up for the Face Time schedule, to visit with my father online.  I noticed on numerous occasions that my father was ‘dressed’ in his pajamas during late afternoon? Why would this be? He has lots of clothing available other than pajamas.  Since speaking with the care home staff, now on most occasions he is dressed appropriately.

On May 19th, the nurse called me to say that ‘ your father has blood in his urine and a discharge’ which was noted when he was being readied for bed.  At 10:53pm when I called to check his status, I was told that he was found ‘naked on his couch’.  I was told that he was redressed and put back to bed. My last communication from the nursing home staff on May 20th informed me that my father was taking an antibiotic for the suspected infection.  I have no idea as to what type of infection he had, and the course of antibiotics given.  Prior to this, my father has never had any type of UTI. I believe this to be brought on by negligence with his hygiene.

I bring these examples to you because of my concern for my father’s health and well being.  I see that he had digressed in his ability to engage.  He is desperately in need of cataract surgery and it concerns me as to what he can and cannot see, including me during our FaceTime visits as he is usually non-responsive.  Episodes of irregular blood pressure  (they are usually significantly high) and blood sugar readings and now this unidentified to me infection, are a great cause for concern.  I can see when speaking with my dad that he is unshaven, I shudder to think  about what his finger and toe nails are like.  He is diabetic and requires foot care.  He has extremely dry skin which requires lotion daily.  He has a number of issues that were always cared for by his care giver.  With the number of random, unfamiliar staff coming and going, I once again question why she cannot be in attendance to ensure his safety and ensure he is getting the care he requires.

The government has now left it up to each individual residence as to who is permitted in their sites. My father has been declining it is obvious to someone who KNOWS him. I know him and am awaiting the nursing home’s response to my request for him to be weighed so I can know how much weight he has lost since March.

My father is pocketing food in his cheek.  It is evident when I speak with him as I see him chewing on food 2-3 hours after he’s had lunch.  This had started earlier on this year, but his caregiver had remedied this by working with him during meal time.  He has now digressed in this area.  I have had to request a speech pathologist visit for this.

We are all aware that disruption in routine exacerbates symptoms of dementia.  With people unfamiliar to him, my father has become more confused and shows drastic physical changes. He is living in loneliness and isolation, his caregiver needs to be there.  This virus is not going anywhere anytime soon. What is the plan to alleviate this situation?  Will we continue to keep him locked away from familiarity until he no longer is familiar?  I brought him to a ‘care’ facility.  When will we be able to provide that care for him on an individual basis.  Please remember that my father was brought in from his home in an effort to integrate him into an environment where he would have social interaction UNDER THE CARE of his private caregiver who had already been with him for over 2 years in his home. SHE IS ESSENTIAL.

Sandra T.