Ensure that a loved one is getting the best care in a residential home

Based on her personal experience, Suzan Collins gives a unique insight

Suzan Collins is a multi-genre author and delivers training to staff working in social care. Suzan wrote ‘Beyond My Control –Why the health and social care system need not have failed my mother’ to tell the story of the incident which happened in the nursing home, resulting in being admitted to hospital with a fractured leg on one side and a fractured hip on the other, and dying three months later with blood poisoning. Staff working in hospitals, care homes and delivering care at home provide a valuable service to vulnerable people. When staff are trained, supported and given time to carry out the care care is usually good. But there are times when staff are not trained, not supported, not given time to carry out the care properly and things can go wrong. You may think that seeing a clean environment and a happy individual then everything is okay. But is it? More often than not it will be okay but you need to look beyond the clean environment and the happy individual. This is not to say that you need to become an investigator, just be more aware of the surroundings. Poor care can be spotted if you know what to look for. Some of the signs to look out for:

  • The individual is quieter or more talkative than usual
  • Staff do not listen to the individual
  • The care/nursing plan is not being followed
  • Individual does not like to be alone with a specific staff member
  • Staff do not treat the individual with dignity and respect
  • There is a strong stench of urine
  • The individual is not turned in bed when the care/nursing plan says the individual should be
  • The individual is left without being able to reach for food and drinks
  • The individual is always hungry
  • Individual is left alone for too long [and doesn’t want to be]
  • Bruising/finger marks on the body

The book Beyond My Control – Why the health and social care system need not have failed my mother is very informative and gives practical advice on what you should do if you or someone you love is receiving poor care. Suzan says ‘If you don’t tell people what they’re doing wrong, how can they put it right?’ Beyond My Control: Why the Health and Social Care System Need Not Have Failed My Mother is a finalist for ‘The PEOPLE’S BOOK’ prize.

Beyond My Control RRP £12.99 or e pub is £5.99 available from Amazon and through www.hammersmithbooks.co.uk