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To think if you go into hospital when you're very elderly you probably won't come out?

(36 Posts)
Givinguph0pe Tue 01-Dec-15 14:29:54

My gran went into hospital following a fall at home nearly three weeks ago. She wasn't able to walk when she was admitted although we aren't sure quite why. After about three days she regained the use of her legs but was very unsteady and could only walk with support.
Around a week later she was on the verge of being discharged when she caught norovirus. A few days after that she got a nasty bedsore.

Call today to say she's had a fall in hospital. She says she pressed the call button because she wanted the toilet and no one came so after a while she tried to get up. She's still in a side room due to the norovirus. She fell and was on her own for an undetermined amount of time. She's broken her leg in two places, it looks like she losing blood from one of the injuries and now she will have to have an operation to try and stop the bleeding and reset the leg.

She's 96. She's never going to come out of hospital is she?

VagueIdeas Tue 01-Dec-15 14:32:12

Oh blimey, that's awful. I'm so sorry. If you feel up to it, later, I think you need to file a complaint. That fall was so preventable.

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Tue 01-Dec-15 14:33:00

Can you find her a place in a nursing home?

My local hospital has norovirus and we're trying to not send our residents there.

Givinguph0pe Tue 01-Dec-15 14:33:36

Apparently she was very distressed (and wet) when they did come to her. She's hazy on the details so we don't know how long it was. It may have only been minutes. My gran says it was ages but it probably just felt like that.

Givinguph0pe Tue 01-Dec-15 14:34:44

I can't see her coming through this operation but if she does she definitely won't be able to return home.
It's like a cruel euthanasia (bit of an oxymoron). She went into hospital not that unwell and now she's very very poorly.

foolonthehill Tue 01-Dec-15 14:37:25

so sorry for your Gran.

There is some hope ...mine is 95 and has been in hospital with a broken humerus (arm) and is now back home....but much frailer than before the break and hospital stay.

However there is a sort of accumulation of awfulness that happens once one thing goes wrong with elderly a domino effect...I've always thought hospital is no place for ill people really (and I work in elderly care), too many bugs, too unfamiliar and too busy.

love to you and her.

BertieBotts Tue 01-Dec-15 14:40:40

Oh I'm sorry OP flowers

If it helps my grandad went into hospital recently after a break and he is 90, he's not home now, but is out of hospital - he's had to go into respite care because he lives so far from all of us that nobody can go and care for him directly.

There is hope. Not nice, though. It's difficult when the staff don't have the time to do things like help patients to the toilet as well. Not their fault, but really adds to the difficulty.

Pandora97 Tue 01-Dec-15 14:54:18

I'm sorry about your gran. flowers My nana went into hospital for about a month when she was 89 and was very ill but was discharged fit and healthy (well, as fit and healthy as an 89 year old with her problems could be!)

She went back in when she was 95 for 2 weeks, got discharged, then went back in the next day as she collapsed. She also had a nasty fall trying to get up to go to the toilet - luckily, she didn't break anything but she had a black eye and huge bruise up her arm. She also got a bedsore on her foot and had an operation for a pacemaker. She was there about 8 weeks in total I think and they did eventually admit that there was nothing more they could do for her and discharged her. She died the morning after she got home from hospital, which was what she wanted so we think she was hanging on for that as she always said she didn't want to die in hospital.

I hope your gran's operation goes well and that she's able to go home soon.

SquinkiesRule Tue 01-Dec-15 15:37:53

What a trooper she is OP. She may well bounce back and come home.
We have had a few ladies always seems to be ladies, they look frail but must be tough as boots that have fallen at home or out and about who come into hospital and manage to bounce back even after infections and surgery.
One sticks in my mind, she was feisty and closer to 100 than 90 she fell hard and was black and blue bless her. But not a single broken bone. Everyone was amazed. It took us nearly a month to get her on her feet again, and another couple of weeks to walk alone and feel better about it. Then off she went.

M1nniedriver Tue 01-Dec-15 15:53:28

Having personally discharged many elderly people from hospital your thread title is VU.

It's impossible to say whether your gran will pull through this but I truely hope she does flowers people of your grans age are hardy. They often surprise medical teams. i think the person you need to speak to befire her op is the anaesthetist to find out what they have planned for her. Sending best wishes to you and her, keep us posted xx

vague I'm not exactly sure what the complaint would complain about confused and how you think this fall was 'preventable' just by reading the OP?

Chattymummyhere Tue 01-Dec-15 16:00:20

Many can and do come back out. We have a family member in his 90's who goes in a few times a year due to falls. He falls if he gets a uti his normally in for 2-3 weeks including the rehab stay to build up his leg strength again.

VagueIdeas Tue 01-Dec-15 16:00:33

Only in the sense that if the call bell had been answered she wouldn't have fallen.

Although I understand that no one can say for sure whether she'd been waiting for a long time or not.

josephwrightofderby Tue 01-Dec-15 16:12:06

I'm so sorry your family is going through this. Your poor gran must be really fed up!

I just wanted to say that people - even very elderly, frail people - DO come out of hospital. I am keeping my fingers crossed for your gran. flowers

roundandroundthehouses Tue 01-Dec-15 16:28:03

We thought we'd lost my Mum (86) earlier this year after a seizure, but after a 2-month stay she is now out of hospital. Much more frail than before, and she now needs to live in extra care sheltered housing. But she is most certainly still with us, and with help can get out and about and everything.

Like your Gran, she also had a fall incident - also connected with trying to get out to the toilet. This seems so common and you'd think it would be both predictable and preventable. In Mum's case she wasn't hurt as she had been put in a very low bed with cushioning on the floor beneath, because she was known to have episodes of restlessness/confusion.

All the best to your Gran, and I really hope she does get out of hospital. It isn't impossible at all.

U2HasTheEdge Tue 01-Dec-15 16:32:06

I would want to know why she got a sore. Were they turning her regularly or making sure she turned? That should all be documented. Bedsores happen but usually they are caught when the skin is red and then protection is put into place so they don't turn nasty. A nasty hospital acquired bed sore would be a huge concern of mine. They could have been doing everything possible to prevent it but I would want that looked into personally to make sure they were checking her skin regularly and turning her if appropriate.

I am sorry to hear your nan has had to suffer so much. Patients can and do often come in at that age and then leave again thanks

Good thoughts for your family.

ginmakesitallok Tue 01-Dec-15 16:35:04

I agree about the bed sore, a hospital acquired bedsore would warrant an incident review in our local hospital, no reason why a properly cared for person should get a bad one. You must complain.

VagueIdeas Tue 01-Dec-15 17:08:08

Thank goodness that people are agreeing me that there are some issues with substandard care going on. I was starting to think I was unreasonable for thinking the notovirus + bedsores + broken bones is pretty bloody unacceptable for a vulnerable and/or frail elderly person.

VestalVirgin Tue 01-Dec-15 17:14:34

Where do you live and where is she in hospital?

Maybe you could come and bring her food. Or at least get her calcium + vitamin D + Vitamin K as supplements.

Hospital food, at least where I live, is very unsuitable to help people recover - I was shocked to hear they couldn't even give a diabetic person low-carb food.

GlitteryRollers Tue 01-Dec-15 17:22:48

My Grandmother was in and out of hospital constantly in the three years of her life. She'd be discharged and then readmitted a few weeks later, she did eventually get taken seriously ill and die in the hospital but she was well looked after by the staff.

Likewise my grandad has been in and out a few times but he's still going strong.

IamTheWhoreofBabylon Tue 01-Dec-15 17:23:00

This is my area of work
It is often the catalyst for some kind of change, care packable and/or environmental changes but many do ho hone
An acute hospital us not the place to rehab though. Is there a rehab ward or unit she could transfer too if she is sorted medically?
Sometimes people go into residential care on a temporary basis and still return home
One thinG for sure, unless she is self funding, if she can manage at home with care input that's what will happen. To get state funding for care you really have to need it and it be impossible to manage at home
And remember falls can happen anywhere. Care home residents have falls

IamTheWhoreofBabylon Tue 01-Dec-15 17:23:41

Sorry for all the typos OP

Titsywoo Tue 01-Dec-15 17:24:53

My grandad is 103 and goes into hospital every couple of months after falls but seems to bounce back pretty quickly!

NorthernLurker Tue 01-Dec-15 17:26:33

Norovirus is rampant in care homes (even lovely ones) as well as in hospitals. It's very unfortunate the Op's relative caught it so close to discharge but it's not an indication of neglect and in fact the fact that she has been isolated from other patients shows good infection control practice. The bed sore in your shoes, yes I would want to know more about. Is it possible though that she had areas of sore skin before admission if her mobility was restricted? the hospital focus should be on stopping those areas getting worse though.
The fall - it happens. Yes there should be awareness from staff and yes call bells should be answered promptly but in a ward where you have perhaps thirty patients and maybe 6 or 7 members of staff, it is entirely possible that one is doing IVs, one is on the phone chasing up doctors, two are handing out on meals, one is helping another patient with the loo and one is off the ward escorting somebody to x-ray and suddenly there is nobody to answer the bell. I work in a hospital though not as a HCP and I have found a patient on the floor as the OP describes and it's awful. Something which should be prevented and yet is so hard to prevent.
I do hope your gran makes a good recovery OP.

Archer26 Tue 01-Dec-15 17:33:07

Oh I'm sorry OP thanks

Hopefully this will raise your hopes. My grandma fell in July and broke her hip. She was admitted to hospital and had a tricky time in there, nori virus and a fall too. She's now back home and walking a few steps. She's 99.

I hope the same happens for your Gran. thanks

snozzlemaid Tue 01-Dec-15 17:35:57

My Nan had a fall and was unwell for sometime when she was 95. She moved to a nursing home when she left hospital and has been relatively well ever since. She is now 100!

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