"My mum and her care"

About: Braemar Village

(as a relative),

My mum has been living in this care home for a couple of years now. She is elderly, has had depression and her condition is a degenerative one and her physical and cognitive ability have declined rapidly. I work full time and can only visit on weekends, which I do regularly. Every weekend, I always find Mum 'parked' in front of her television-she is wheelchair bound-I never find her socialising or in anyone's company. I stay with her for up to 3-4 hours at times, and I never see any staff to say hello, offer the toilet or a drink, other than a scheduled morning or afternoon tea (which is left in front of her, on her table, even though she cannot feed herself).

There are activities set up in the common room on weekends, but in the 12months + I have been visiting, I have never witnessed anyone using these activities (games etc), other than ourselves (occasionally). I never see staff playing with, or encouraging play with these games. It would be great to see people talking, spending time  socialising in groups -I've only ever seen individuals walking around solo, or sitting by themselves in their rooms -I have only ever seen 95% of the residents in their rooms on their own (when the door is open), on weekends when I visit.

Mum's clothing is often stained with food particles, as is her wheelchair, despite my asking for it to be cleaned several times.

I wonder if I wasn't present, would she talk to anyone during the whole weekend, other than at mealtimes?

At mealtimes she has stated to me that she sometimes feels pressured to eat. Imagine being fed, and feeling like you have to perform? This may be her impression, and not factual, but it is still not a very nice thought.

Seeing her decline physically and cognitively makes me very sad, but knowing that she is lonely (she has stated this), is heart breaking. I think that the care staff try their best in the circumstances-however, I do wonder if there are enough staff to provide the social, physical, psychological, mental and the other stimulation that Mum would benefit from in her condition, especially on weekends?

I see other care homes both nationally and internationally try new and innovative ideas, like pet therapy, cooking, outings (these have stopped some time ago), etc . I see some evidence of activities like these during the week, but never on weekends-life doesn't stop over the weekend, does it?

Mum was a top professional in her career, extremely articulate, well dressed and sensitive.

I don't really expect much to change from my story-it just feels like I am contributing in some way, to her care by telling it.

Responses

Response from Amelia Krumholectski, Executive Assistant, Braemar Presbyterian Care

The following response has been provided by the CEO of Braemar Presbyterian Care.

Dear Anticipative

Thank you for sharing your story.

I’m sorry to learn that you are unhappy with the care provided to your mum and invite you to contact us on 08 6279 3636 to discuss your specific concerns.

If you are uncomfortable with direct contact, we do offer an independent, third party reporting service, Your Call, which gives you the opportunity to raise your concerns anonymously and have them brought to my attention.

You can contact Your Call on 1300 790 228 or online at www.yourcall.com.au/report (enter company ID: Braemar).

Braemar is committed to providing the highest quality services to our residents and helping them to maintain their social connections in accordance with our mission of building the power of care, friendship, hope and love.

We provide a range of activities for residents while respecting the wishes of individuals as to whether they take part. For example, this month’s activities include bus trips, a ladies’ social hour, a men’s social club, singalongs, happy hours, and Valentine’s Day celebrations.

While we work hard to maintain the highest standards of care, Braemar is also committed to continuous improvement of our services and we welcome your feedback.

Kind regards

Wayne Belcher
CEO, Braemar Presbyterian Care

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