A heartfelt account of a carer’s perspective in coming to terms with her husband’s disease and her experience of dealing with the emotional stress of his admission into a Care Home.
At Badby Park it’s important for us that we provide the right specialist care and support to the family and friends as well as the residents. In collaboration with our volunteer carer we have produced a Welcome Information brochure providing all the information a new resident and their families need – from processes to important contact information to ensure they are supported during this difficult time.
My husband is 66 and has advanced early onset dementia, specifically Posterior Cortical Atrophy, or PCA for short, with Alzheimer’s. He was diagnosed around 8 years ago.
I initially cared for him at home but the time came where he needed to be in the care of a nursing home. It was a very difficult and emotionally stressful time for me and a bed was quickly found for him at a local Care Home. Unfortunately, he appeared to be deteriorating quite rapidly after admission and it was apparent the home was unable to cope as they didn’t have the specialist skills and support to manage and care for his needs. He continually had head injuries due to falling and as a result I had to make a safeguarding complaint.
Eventually a bed was found at Badby Park Neurological Care Centre in Daventry and to my relief he has settled very well with the right care and support.
When your loved one is first diagnosed it turns your life upside down, having to adjust to a completely new life, both emotionally and financially. Not knowing how the care system and funding streams work; at a crisis point in your life it is extremely stressful.
When I was being shown around Badby Park prior to admission, two things I had been requesting for months – no door on the ensuite and a helmet to wear – were already in place as a matter of course. This was a huge relief that I wouldn’t have to ‘fight’ for some very basic and to me, obvious, things to make my husband safer. On admission I immediately had a feeling that the staff knew what they were dealing with and understood my husband’s condition.
As the weeks and months have progressed my husband has become more and more settled. He is regularly reviewed by the trans-disciplinary team and neuropsychiatrist and his medication amended as necessary – with a view to reducing it as much as possible. One medication was withdrawn completely within a matter of months and everything is clearly explained to me. At Badby Park I was listened to immediately regarding my husband’s medication and was told the intention is always to administer as little medication as is necessary. The relief, I have complete trust in what is happening and am aware that it is not an overnight ‘fix’.
I spend a lot of time at Badby Park and am always in awe of the commitment and professionalism of all the staff. The team on my husband’s unit works like a well-oiled cog – everyone helping each other and no sense at all of ‘it’s not my job’ when anything is asked of them. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and I feel nurtured and cocooned, if I feel like this then I’m positive my husband must feel it too! Little acts of kindness happen frequently, sometimes it can be just a simple hug or a kind word, but it means the world and reduces me to tears regularly!
The immediate attention of the nurses if anything is amiss is outstanding, they attend within minutes of a concern being raised. I have witnessed this time and again on the unit and it is very reassuring. Likewise the immediate attention of the Social Worker when an incident is reported is exemplary. Luckily this has only happened on a few occasions but again everything was explained clearly and calmly to me. I feel that I can ask anything of any member of staff, no matter how silly I think it may sound. I am listened to and always feel that my opinion matters and will be implemented if appropriate.
The quarterly relatives’ meetings are fun and very informative and everyone has a chance to give their opinion and ask questions. I have attended relatives’ meetings in two other care homes but they always seemed to cover the same ground and nothing ever seemed to happen from one meeting to the next – the same issues came up again and again and in the end I stopped going as it seemed such a waste of time.
And on a final note the food is plentiful, delicious and of a high quality. The staff go out of their way to coax a patient to eat and to find something they might prefer if the meal provided is not wanted.
Overall I could not be happier or more content with my husband’s placement. Badby Park is a truly remarkable and inspiring place and I feel blessed that after an horrific time for all the family a place for my husband was found here.
If you would like to visit the service or make a referral please contact Alison Spencer on: