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Monday, 3 October 2011

so let's call it hellside

so I had six months living in a nursing home. I am worried at the moment that social services want me back in a nursing home. I know that it is a cheaper option for them rather than me living in the community in my own bungalow using the direct payments scheme to employ carers of my own choice. I am a lot happier in my bungalow and I have gained weight and am not as depressed as I was in the nursing home. So yeah I'll tell you about it.

I didn't want to go into a nursing home but I had no choice. There was nowhere else for me to go. I actually got told that I had to go to a particular nursing home and it was either there or an old people's home. I definitely didn't want to go to an old people's home. I got told that it was a young disabled unit. Well let me tell you something. It certainly wasn't. I was the youngest person there. Other than a young man in his 30s who I knew from rehab everybody else was at least 50. There were three people on the unit who suffered from MS. Nobody else on the unit showed any sign of physical disability. A lot of them were alcoholics.a nursing home is just not the right place for a 24-year-old to be. I was in a room on my own for about 21 hours a day. Sometimes more if I didn't have any visitors. It was like being in prison. I would just lie there staring at the ceiling. It's got less boring when I got a television. Daytime TV sucks though. I became an expert on airline. I can't fault the staff, other than one nurse. I guess the home was understaffed. I would ask every day if I could have a shower and usually I was told no because they were too busy. It's a horrible feeling being unclean and being unable to do anything about it. One time when I had a shower, it was with the nurse that I have a problem with. First of all I was undressed on the bed. That was fine. I was then put in the shower sling, I was tossed around like a rag doll getting me on to the sling. I was then hoisted into the shower chair. Other than being a little rough with me getting onto the sling everything was normal. I had a large towel placed over me for my dignity whilst the nurse and a carer wheeled me down the corridor to the wet room. When I was getting showered one of the pagers went off. And the nurse ordered the carer to go and answer it. There should always be two members of staff with a patient with a disability is such as myself when doing something such as showering. The carer went to answer it. The nurses Pager then went off. I know it was not an emergency call as the bleep would have been different. Even though she knew that I couldn't be left she opened the door, left it open and wandered out. Leaving me exposed! I felt so humiliated, vulnerable and angry. There were plenty of able-bodied men in the unit who could be walking up and down the corridors. I screamed and shouted for her to come back and shut the door and when she did after about a minute she came back and had a go for shouting. I was fuming. She covered me back up and took me back to my room. With assistance she hoisted me back onto my bed. The other carer then left the room as somebody had shouted her. The nurse then wandered out of the room leaving the door wide open leaving me exposed for the second time in a day. She came back quickly and didn't even apologise. I don't think she even realised what she had done. I complained about this issue to my social worker.

The staff toilet was next door to my room (or should I say cell) anyway, I could hear the toilet flushing. And I can also hear whether or not they washed their hands. Well, the majority do not. As I have to be fed as I cannot do this on my own I decided not to be fed by people who did not wash their hands after using the toilet. Some of them even had filthy fingernails. How can I possibly eat food handled by them? I then only had something to eat when my friends and family came in. So I was eating about say maybe three meals a week. I lost about three stone in weight.

Luckily after three months of no physiotherapy I was then via a lot of phone calls and writing letters and with the assistance of my local MP I was noticed by the PCT and I was granted physiotherapy five times a week. I was glad to be getting out of the home for a while. I had to get a carer escort to go with me in the taxi to keep me safe. Unfortunately one time I was given an escort who was a complete dozy cow. She sat next to me in the taxi and didn't keep an eye on me. The Escort is meant to make sure that I am safe. This one certainly didn't. She was gazing out of the window when we went round a corner. I went flying out of my wheelchair. I was lying on the floor and the taxi driver asked if I was okay and the Escort just looked at me and asked me if I was okay to which I replied do I look okay? In the end the taxi driver came and picked me up. At least he had common sense. When I got to the clinic I told the physios that I have had a fall and the Escort and yelled that I had not. Luckily the physios believed me. They could tell by my bruises and the tightness in my muscles.
I made sure that the Escort never take me again.

I was meant to move into my house in September. But due to my social worker being an incompetent cow it was delayed until the end of November. And the only reason it happened in November is because one of my friends got fed up of the social worker being lazy and messing around. He got the necessary numbers of my social worker and sorted out me moving in to the bungalow. Sorting out things like hoists and the shower chair and a hoist. We had a bit of a problem in getting the equipment because I was moving from Knowsley into Liverpool. After much messing around by both councils I eventually got all of my equipment and could move in. I was so happy to have escaped the nursing home. I feel sorry for people who have to live in them. I feel sorry for the staff who have to work in them. I don't want to go back to one. It is like prison and I do not think that I deserve that sentence ... thank you for reading. X

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