It can be an uphill battle to find an aged care home willing to take in an aggressive patient. Just ask Bruce's devoted wife and carer, Doreen.
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
Friends are to be treasured. Particularly those who are there for us in the tough times. Dr Bernadette Smith* is one such friend to Bruce and Doreen Thomas*.
It was Dr Smith (a doctor of mathematics, not medicine) who contacted DR Care Solutions with her concerns about the welfare of her dear friends, Bruce and Doreen.
Bruce and Doreen are in their 80s. At the time of Dr Smith’s phone call, Bruce was in hospital after suffering a fall. Bruce had been living with mild dementia for some time however it was exacerbated by the fall, with aggressive behaviour and wandering becoming more prevalent.
While in hospital, Bruce received an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) assessment. The assessment found Bruce required a high level of care and recommended a move to residential aged care as his wife, Doreen, was not up to providing high level care.
Unfortunately, the assessment also noted Bruce’s aggressive behaviour. Such a note on an assessment can make it extremely hard for families to find residential aged care facilities that are willing to take the person as a resident.
Doreen’s phone calls to residential homes proved fruitless as some managers did not either want to take on the risk of an aggressive resident, or did not have the staffing levels to provide the required care, or both.
This is when DR Care Solutions received an email from friend, Dr Smith. The hospital was putting pressure on Doreen to find her husband a place in a residential home.
DR Care Solutions took the steps of:
Meeting with Doreen, her sister and Dr Smith, to establish Bruce’s wants and wishes and draw up an ‘overview for residential aged care placement’ that respected Bruce’s wishes. Normally we would draw up a Life Plan™ with Bruce in person, however, his hospital at the time was in COVID-19 lockdown.
Using our bespoke software on residential aged care facilities to identify facilities that would welcome Bruce, be located not too far from Doreen and meet Bruce’s wants and wishes.
Arranging tours of the short-listed residential aged care facilities with Doreen while Bruce remained in hospital.
Liaising and negotiating with facility managers, on Doreen’s behalf, and settling on the choice of a residential aged care facility that would accept Bruce’s condition and that Bruce and Doreen accepted themselves.
Dealing with the hospital’s persistent calls to discharge Bruce.
Organising Bruce’s transfer from hospital to the aged care home and helping Doreen with all the paperwork.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Look at Doreen and Bruce in this photo!
Nestled in bushland with views of the valley and distant ocean, Bruce’s new home offers dementia-specific care with accessible garden paths, a sensory garden, a quiet room, opportunities to pat the visiting dog or resident cat, and a range of therapeutic activities.
While it took about six weeks for Bruce to settle, he is now well and truly happy in his new home.
* Names have been changed to respect privacy.
If you’re experiencing difficulties placing a loved one in residential aged care, reach out to Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one at the right time and in the right place.