Friday, October 14, 2011

Care of the Elderly

The horrific stories about the neglect of the elderly in our hospitals make me wonder if one of the problems is that hospitals and healthcare workers; doctors and nurses are also in the death business. If a hospital, or in fact the whole NHS, is killing the unborn isn't that going to eat away at reverence for the dignity of human lives.
If you come from a culture which not allows you to but actually sees little problem in aborting a child in the womb and calls it medical waste, then how are you going to deal with an old person in a psychogeriatric ward?


nickbris said...

Very disturbing as these stories are,these incidents are extremely rare.The majority of staff who look after the elderly are paid less than the living wage.

When this sort of "news" is splashed all over the newspapers and the radio & TV give it the fullest coverage possible one must smell a rat.

This diabolical coalition are being controlled by their wealthy friends and benefactors,they would dearly love to get their filthy paws on the ultimate prize which is the NHS.

They did it with all the Utilities and the local authority housing.

The climate change activists have created more billionaires in the salvage business,windmills,solar panels etc than any other industry in History.

Tax them and give all the money to the NHS to pay the staff adequately.

Gigi said...

I've felt very moved watching the recent news stories about folk trying to feed their frail and elderly relatives in hospital. My Mum was admitted to hopsital in October 2009 with severe congenital heart failure. When she was admitted, my sister and I were told she would not survive and were allowed to sleep in the hospital with her; the monitors were turned off and we were told she would not be resuscitated due to her frailty and the trauma of the procedures. We understood all of this. However, against all odds, my feisty Antrim mother rallied after two weeks. She was still very ill and could not even anticipate feeding herself. The nursing staff clearly didn't have the time or practice of feeding by hand, although they were all kind, diligent individuals. My sister and I brought little pots of Mum's favourite foods in. We cooked them, mashed them up, spooned, encouraged, cajoled and nagged. Little by little, she ate.
My Mum was extremely fussy and a vegetarian who didn't really like vegetables. I could see that the staff felt it was a losing battle. But my Mum did leave hospital a month later and had another year in her own home. We saw other elderly patients in Critical Care who couldn't or wouldn't eat, whose relatives were either absent or not able to visit regularly. Trays were left for them, often the clingfilm was left over the plates. After half an hour, the trays were collected. Later, the patients' charts would be marked up showing little or no intake. Surely this becomes a self perpetuating prophesy: such patients are then not expected to survive and this must influence future treatment. I recall that two of these ladies in Mum's room died before she was discharged. One of the friendliest nurses told me, not without sadness, that the lady in the bed next to Mum had not been expected to survive and that Mum was "lucky" to have her family coming in...

Patruus said...

Long ago nursing used to be a vocation, and I still carry in my memory a cinema newsreel image of nurses kneeling together in prayer at the beginning of a ward shift.

Could it be that the devocationalization of nursing has contributed to the problem?

pelerin said...

All this publicity about the care of the elderly has brought back memories of a stay in hospital some years back.

There was an elderly lady in the bed opposite mine who spent a lot of time asleep. Her meals were brought to her, plonked on a tray, and left until they were collected later usually uneaten. If she was asleep she was never woken and as none of us was allowed to get out of bed she seemed to miss most of her meals. I remember asking a nurse why they did not wake her up to eat and she just shrugged her shoulders without comment.

The lady died there before I left- I fear this absence of care has been going on for many years.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree with Patruus regarding the necessity of a vocation for nursing - and all 'caring' professions.
[Valerie, NZ]

David said...

I too have been horrified, but not surprised, by the reports. I am so thankful that in her last years my own mother was so well looked after, in a home where care was constant, professional, sensitive and kind. And what made the difference - the fact that the Little Sisters of the Poor didn't just own and run the home, but were "hands on". I remember seeing a very elderly sister, who couldn't do very much physical work, sitting with an elderly priest and gently helping him to eat, and when my mother's end was approaching and I was called, I found a group of the sisters who had been caring for her around her bed, late at night, praying the rosary as she peacefully passed away. That's what made the difference, commitment and vocation, both to the work and in the religious sense. We need more of that in our hospitals and homes.

Anonymous said...

Hospitals, as with schools, really can only work well, with the care of the patient - from the womb to old age or terminal illness or permanent disability - the main concern of the carers (nurses, doctors, etc.). The State cannot provide the philosophy around which a hospital can optimally operate. And the professions of medicine and nursing have been undermined by their involvement in the killing of preborn children. Civic organisations such as Churches are best suited to giving people the total care they need - physical, mental and spiritual. Lynda

daniel naughton said...

Please search, sentenced to death on the nhs-telegraph. The "Liverpool Care Pathway", pioneered in the 1990`s, at the Royal Liverpool, is now used in 300 hospitals, 130 hospices, and 360 Care Homes. Withdrawal of Fluids. Euthanasia by omission. Relatives not always told.