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Urgent help please! FIL Discharge from hospital and nursing home

(39 Posts)
ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 21:19:50

Hi all

I'm really hoping someone can give me a bit of advice before I have to speak to the hospital tomorrow.

I'll try and keep it brief but will need to explain background a bit.

My FIL is 83 and lives at home with my MIL, he's been suffering falls on and off and on the 4th Nov, he fell over and broke his hip, he was admitted to hospital and had a hip replacement, five weeks in as he was slowly getting back on his feet, for some reason at 5 am one morning he got out of bed and fell, resulting in the other hip breaking. He had another replacement and was back on the ward under one to one care due to the previous fall, he was also diagnosed with dementia at this time. He was now very nervous on his feet and generally unable to walk any distances at all, just transfer himself from bed to chair. Around 5am a few weeks ago the individual on one to one observations left my FIL and he fell again, now breaking his wrist (there is a complaint in about this). He's now unable to walk, move from chair to bed and is incontinent nearly all the time, and has to be helped to do everything.

My MIL has realised as much as she wants him home she cannot watch him 24 hours a day and lives in a house with steps to each room and only an upstairs toilet (he does have a stairlift, but cannot work it on his own or get himself to it)

My SIL found a nursing home literally two mins from my MIL's house which is perfect, we assumed as FIL had a lot of savings we would not be eligible for any help and reserved him a place, and he's going to be discharged on Thurs to it. After going to the bank it turns out that most of the savings (over 40K) are in MIL's name, and FIL has approx 17k. SIL rang the hospital and explained, to be told that they hadn't assessed him for needing care home, only carers at home and it would take a while to get him reassessed, my MIL got distressed and has now gifted my FIL £10k so he can still keep the nursing home slot.

I'm now concerned that we are making a rod for our own back, and think we should force the hospital to reassess him for nursing home (which doesn't sound like it's been done) and if it delays it a couple of weeks then we just pay for the spot at the nursing home to be kept open.

So as SIL has sorted this and now realised she might have been hasty it;s left to me to sort tomorrow morning, can I actually refuse discharge until the Community Care plan is sorted and communicated to us in writing.?!?

Help anyone there are probably so many things we are missing or I'm doing wrong.

I am arranging to see solicitors and financial advisers with MIL late this week early next, I just am concerned once he's discharged it will be a lot harder to get everything we need from social services once he's already gone and freed a bed up.

Many thanks if you are still with me, I really do appreciate any advice smile

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 21:20:59

Sorry to confirm the second fall (with another hip replacement) occurred in hospital.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 29-Jan-13 21:23:55

Sorry to hear what an awful time your FIL has had. It does sond like he needs 24 hour supervision, and that would be incredibly difficult for your MIL to maintain long - term

He'll need to be referred to a social worker for a full financial assessment in terms of funding his long term care. Do you know if he has been referred?

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 21:28:57

He definately has a social worker in the hospital, but she was the one today who told SIL that she'd only assessed him for home care, which then like I say panicked everyone. I guess I need to ring her at 8 am and tell her that she needs to reassess him considering his one to one 24 hour needs and see if that results in the care home option being partially funded.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 29-Jan-13 21:52:10

It's the SW who will be key in funding the care - whether at home or in a nursing home.

Has there been any discharge planning meetings? You as a family, should be invited to meet with the multidisciplinary team involved in your FIL's care to discuss his current care needs and how they can best be met. If it's constant supervision, and he is more or less immobile and incontinent then that's going to be incredibly hard to manage at home. Here in Wales it's only possible to get 4 funded care calls a day, and nothing at all overnight.

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 21:56:21

They originally said 3 visits but not ready for leaving hospital just yet as problems above, but I think SIL has pushed since the spot at the small nursing home became available, I haven't been aware of any discharge meetings - presumably if they suggest that he can have 3/4 visits per day we can just ask for the direct payment for that (assumes worth around £10 per hour - so £30 per day - £150 per week towards nursing home) or doesn't it work like that.

I have a feeling the social worker is not going to like me tomorrow when I ask for him to be reassessed after she thought he was being discharged.

Thanks for your help by the way, I do appreciate it. smile

AnyaKnowIt Tue 29-Jan-13 22:00:24

If you want fil to go into the care home, refuse to have him back at home.

It sounds cruel but sadly its the only way

It doesn't really work like that TBH.

I would also suggest you ask them to assess him to see if he qualifies for Continuing Care/Continuing Healthcare, as it sounds like he has complex needs and he may qualify. That means the NHS would meet all the costs of his care, it is very hard to get though.

www.ageuk.org.uk/home-and-care/care-homes/ Some good info on here.
Sometimes the first few weeks after discharge to a home are seen as an assessment placement and may be funded also.

And I agree with the PP - do not accept him home to 'see how you get on' or anything like that - it will be arranged much quicker if they are trying to free up his hospital bed TBH sad and he sounds clearly unfit to be at home.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 29-Jan-13 22:04:48

The team there have a duty of care to ensure that his d/c is a safe one.

He's possibly going to need a hospital bed with appropriate mattress, maybe a hoist to get him in and out and sensor pads by the bed +/- chair (if he's going to be sitting out at all), regular pad changes to maintain skin integrity (usually every 2-3 hours). What about eating and drinking - is he able to manage a normal diet and fluids and feed himself?

Even with careers coming in 3 times a day, that leaves a huge amount to do inbetween calls. Your MIL is unlikely to unable able to change his pads alone.

Here in Wales I believe that everyone gets a certain amount of free care, then anything above that is financially assessed. Some nursing home fees can be fully covered by social services, others charge more and the pt or their family top up the fees.

Don't worry about being unpopular on the ward, your concern is for your FIL and MIL. Do you know if the NH are able to keep the bed while things are worked out, you might be able to pay a retainer fee.

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 22:07:40

We want him home, but all that will happen is my MIL who is in need of a hip replacement herself and suffering early signs of dementia and is 79 will struggle and then they will both be in a mess, at least the nursing home we have got him in is less than 100m from her front door.

Ok plan of attack - ring social worker at 8:30 and say you need to reassess him and we are not taking him home or to the nursing home until this has been done, then we want to see written copy of the plan and discharge plan.

Ring home - advise he is unlikely to be in the home until this is resolved, but we are happy to pay to keep the place for him at the moment

Hospital are being very nice to us at the moment as we have a full complaint going through regarding the second fall whilst under 1 2 1 observations as they have already admitted liability and that's the reason he's still there.

mamadoc Tue 29-Jan-13 22:11:07

Ok so it sounds as if he does have nursing care needs: immobile, high risk of falls, incontinent, needing assistance with all tasks

You've now discovered he probably has less than the savings threshold so may be eligible to have his care funded by the local authority

BUT 1. They will want to do their own financial assessment to prove this
2. They have to apply to a funding panel to get the funding in place which takes time
3. The local authority may not fund your home of choice. They only fund a 'benchmark' rate which is less than the top places charge. You might still have to 'top up' the funding or accept another cheaper place.

It will definitely delay the discharge to get the assessments done and you may lose the place. The hospital will be very unhappy to delay the discharge for a 'non-clinical' reason.

I think that you could definitely insist that they reassess his care needs especially if not done since the second fall but if you really want that home you could go ahead with the discharge and i think you can claim money back later.
(I'm not a social worker but a hospital dr so I know the process but not all the detail)

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 22:12:58

Hi Iwish

His eating and drinking is better if you remind him.
The incontinence is an issue, he just suddenly decides he needs to go and then starts getting up, not remembering he can't walk and then falls over, or wets/messes himself. My MIL can't move him, she's also suffering arthritis in her wrists so changing him is difficult.
He's so scared of walking now, he's not stepped any where in a couple of months, he's either in bed, on his chair or being taken on a stand up trolley to the toilet. He can't even carry on with physio as his arm is in plaster and he needed that to use the zimmer with.

Just ARGH!!!

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 22:16:41

Ok so the other issue then is today my MIL put £10k in his account to take him to £27k, however I think she should remove that to take him back to his £17 which means he will get some help. Can we do that or are we going to be in trouble.

My MIL will happily pay to retain the spot at the nursing home (full fees if she has too) and pay any top up, although it's one of the cheaper ones in the area, so that shouldn't be an issue.

Mama - even if they are unhappy can they enforce the discharge?

mamadoc Tue 29-Jan-13 22:18:56

He really doesn't sound fit for just 3 calls a day as things stand if he can't transfer or weight bear but perhaps they think he could improve when his wrist heals ie still has some rehab potential. Sometimes one option is to go to a local community hospital for rehab if you have them in your area.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 29-Jan-13 22:19:16

It sounds as if he still has some potential to improve - physio could be carrying on (I'm one), using different mobility aids due to his fractured wrist.

While the hospital won't be overly happy to delay a d/c for a non-clinical reason, if they had started planning for discharge in a more timely way then it wouldn't have come to this point.

Definitely speak to the SW as early tomorrow as you can and outline your concerns and ask for the financial assessment to be done ASAP.

Good luck, and let us know how you get on.

mamadoc Tue 29-Jan-13 22:22:54

Well they can't send him to a home that no-one has agreed to pay for but if you let on that you are paying for the place to be kept open they will say he should go and sort the money out after.

Definitely take the money out before the financial assessment!

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 22:23:33

Local community hospital refused to take him as they said room for improvement was minimal due to previous back/disc problems anyway, that combined with two new hips and they said no, even before he broke his wrist/arm.

I will let you all know how I get on, it's a good job work don't mind me dealing with stuff like this smile just need to not get so stressed now as pregnant too! My DH is good but I'm better at being assertive apparently!! Not sure that's a good thing! smile

mamadoc Tue 29-Jan-13 22:33:34

Ok so polite, calm but assertive.
Ask for a reassessment of nursing need (sounds fairly certain to me that he does have nursing needs)
Ask for financial assessment
Ask for him to be assessed for continuing care funding (unlikely but may as well try)
Don't volunteer that you are willing to pay to keep the place open unless you are happy for him to be discharged there and she can reassure you that there is a mechanism to get the money back.

fridayfreedom Tue 29-Jan-13 22:49:07

As said above his needs are beyond being cared for at home with a care package as Mil could not cope in between visits. Also sounds like his needs are nursing rather than residential. The SW should ask the ward for a nursing assessment to support this if they are going to apply for funding for his care. The SW report will have to go to panel she can not agree the funding herself.
As mentioned if nursing care is agreed then they may or may not fund the home depending on the cost, there will be a max cost they can pay. This can be topped up but not from Fil money. Ask about this now or Mil could be wasting lots of money on a place and not use it later.
Re continuing health care Fil is entitled to have the checklist done to see if he meets the criteria for a full assessment but it is very difficult to get. He would have to have very high, and I mean very high needs to get it and need very high levels of skilled nursing interventions not just carers.
They should not discharge him until a satisfactory plan is in place regardless of whether he is deemed medically fit. It has to be a safe discharge.

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 22:49:15

Definately polite and calm too, you get nowhere being rude and I want help and people on side smile
However not a pushover either and will not allow to discharge to occur until the points listed above are carried out. I think it helps if you go in also knowing a little but about it so you can't be fobbed off so thanks for everyone's input tonight.

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 22:52:09

If we get the 19k gifted to fil back then we could use that for top up of fees, is there any reason fil cannot top his own care up? Sorry I don't understand that part.

ratbagcatbag Tue 29-Jan-13 22:52:20

10 k even

fridayfreedom Tue 29-Jan-13 22:58:12

Not certain about the rules, think you need to ask the SW. If they agree to fund him he will still have to contribute from his pension and I know he will have a personal allowance for toiletries etc. sorry don't want to give the wrong info so check it out with the SW.
I would be careful about spending money and hoping to get Adult Services to refund it. They don't like this as they have not agreed to it upfront so may not be under any obligation to pay you back.

zipzap Tue 29-Jan-13 23:00:28

Also sounds like the sw was being remiss originally in not assessing him for a nursing home place, given the severity of his needs and his wife's physical limitations in being able to help look after him. She should have realised when she was doing it that it wasn't a feasible option and thus looked at the nursing home side of things too.

If the hospital complain, I'd be tempted to point out that it's hardly your fault that the team sorting out the discharge - especially the sw - didn't even do the most basic assessment for a nursing home. And that they knew the condition your MIL was in - and if they didn't then they didn't do a very good job at all on assessing your fil for going home!

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