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Grandfather about to be discharged from hospital, wife can't cope with his physical needs- who to speak to?

(11 Posts)
fishcakefoxtrot Sun 25-Sep-11 17:50:27

My DH’s grandfather is an alcoholic. He recently became ill which meant he suddenly had no access to alcohol and he became very disoriented. He was admitted to hospital for a more controlled detox and is now due to be discharged.

The hospital are happy with his physical recovery but his wife needs practical, hands-on help to care for him. Also, no one in the hospital has explained that he is there because of his alcoholism- he thinks it is because of the original virus.

Who can his wife or DH's parents speak to about other services that are available? (they are in England). His parents are happy to ask the questions, if only they knew who to ask!

ednurse Sun 25-Sep-11 17:54:50

They need to speak to the ward nurses. They can arrange a social services investigation who can provide help if they feel they need it.

fishcakefoxtrot Sun 25-Sep-11 17:59:04

They have not felt hugely confident with the nurses. Is there anyone else? Or can they contact social services directly?

ednurse Sun 25-Sep-11 18:03:04

They can speak to their GP, not sure about contacting SS directly.

Most SS referrals are done through the ward however it can take WEEKS sometimes, as he is ready for discharge then they would probably be reluctant to start making referrals, especially if he is coping and self-caring on the ward.

WipsGlitter Sun 25-Sep-11 18:37:55

There should be a social worker on the hospital (my sister is a hospital social worker) your grandmother should ask to see them. I'm surprised this hasn't been done. A care package wil then be organized

Milngavie Sun 25-Sep-11 18:45:07

Phone ss and speak to the duty worker for older peoples services. Explain all and ask for an urgent care needs assessment.

fishcakefoxtrot Sun 25-Sep-11 19:19:39

Thank you for the replies. I will suggest they ask for the hospital social worker and, failing that phone SS direct.

ednurse, I think the problem has been that they feel they have dealt GF's immediate medical needs without any thought to the future, not even talking to him about his drinking. Him being able to get to a loo on the ward, when sober doesn't really reflect how he was when at home, drinking. Can they really discharge him just because he copes in a hospital setting?

ajandjjmum Sun 25-Sep-11 19:22:19

They must emphasise that they need support and will not be able to care for him when he is discharged, without a care package in place. They need to be really firm about this, as I know from our recent experience, that the assumption was that the family would step in, and not being heartless (we're 180 miles away!), we just couldn't. We felt the nursing staff were quite happy to sweep the issue under the carpet, to get a bed free.
Good luck!

catsareevil Sun 25-Sep-11 19:27:29

It also depends on your grandfathers condition. If he is deemed competant to make decisions for himself then he cannot be prevented from returning to his home if that is what he wishes.

SW should do a needs assessment if requested. Some services are chargable, which may be relevent.
You can contact SW directly to make a referral, or ask the hospital team to do this.

Highlander Mon 26-Sep-11 13:22:02

Elderly people should never be discharged without a needs assessment. Speak to your GF's consultant and insist on an OT and a SW assessment.

A simple home package of assistance to get him up and washed/dressed in the morning with maybe meals on wheels?

In terms of drinking, if he's sober now, and a bit frail, can your grandmother simply empty the house of booze? Is he capable of getting to the shops?

When he is home, make sure the GP makes regular home visits.

sparkleshine Tue 27-Sep-11 21:21:01

On the ward I work at, no patient is discharged without checking if everything is okay at home and they and their family can cope.

But, if a patient states that they don't want help, we cannot force them.

I am quite surprised nobody has thought to check or ask if they need help. Maybe they had asked him, but hadn't thought to check with his wife as they didn't think they needed to due to how independant he is whilst there. IFSWIM

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