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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mr S hits out with his walking stick.

Arthur has been moved to a nursing home for respite. It is in Semaphore which is by the beach. I looked at another one first but there he would have been in a room of five beds and I knew he wouldn't have liked that. The hospital said he was medically fit to discharge with 8 days of antibiotics to go, and that could be monitored by a General Practitioner. The hospital and nursing home organised the move by ambulance and I went down after my interview about the CDC package.
Of course all Arthur wants to do is come home, but I need to get some help in changing the house around, and I am hoping the physiotherapists there will manage to get him on his feet again.

He is in a share room with one other person, but unfortunately didn't get the window bed.

I stayed for quite along time that first day, which turned out to be a fortunate decision. When the new admission to the other bed, Mr S, arrived, there was an incident. When the care workers tried to help Mr S get into bed, he threw a punch to the jaw of a female care worker. On seeing this, I went to get the nurse, and made it clear to him that Arthur could not stay in the same room as a violent person. More workers came into the room and Mr S was moved to another area. The head nurse called the manager, and put me on the phone to her. She explained they had no other beds available and that if Arthur didn't provoke Mr S, Arthur should be alright.  I was horrified by that suggestion and flatly discounted it. I told the woman that she had a victim of a home invasion (in 1998) with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in with a violent person who was unsuitable for this type of accommodation.  Mr S needed to be in a secure unit. As I could hear a commotion further up the corridor, I told her Mr S was still being disruptive. The manager said that the Department of Health and Ageing had not told her that Mr S had these problems. She said she also did not know Arthur had PTSD. I said I assumed it was in his transfer notes from the hospital.


I said I understood it was not the home's fault Mr S was there, but that it was unacceptable for him to be in with Arthur. She asked to speak to the head nurse and I went and got him. I went back to Arthur and told him I would stay alll night with him if necessary, but that I could hear the phone call and Mr S was being sent to hospital to be assessed and that he would be unlikely to return. I heard Mr S' wife mentioned and felt sorry for her. I wonder if she suffers from his violence at home. Maybe not, maybe Mr S just does not like facilities and nurses telling him what to do.


I wandered up the corridor to find out what was happening and the head nurse told me Mr S was to be taken for assessment at the hospital and that the police had been called to supervise the transfer. The nurse was very annoyed because Mr S had hit him across the neck with his walking stick and left a red mark. The nurse was quite a solid man, overweight with thick neck. I had visions of that walking stick crashing onto Arthur's thin frame and weak bones. The nurse was outraged, and said that he would not have any of his staff at risk. I politely agreed with him but I am not sure he picked up my point when I said that if Mr S had hit Arthur with the walking stick, Arthur would have been killed.

I stayed for a long time, and settled Arthur down. I asked that the locum doctor be called to give him a sedative if he needed it and that he be checked on quite frequently. As it turned out, I received a call to say Arthur was alright, but they couldn't call the doctor because they did not have his medicare card. I told hm the number should be in Arthur's notes, however I would bring his card in the next day. (They did find his medicare number in his notes the next day.) The home was very good at keeping me informed and responded quite correctly to Mr S when the manager understood the seriousness of the situation.

Arthur was upset by all this and it was not a good start to his stay.  I came in the next day with Jason to see how he was doing, and to check up on how he was being treated. Arthur was tired, but he was being cared for quite well and we hoped he could be moved to the window bed.  Unfortunately that bed was allocated to a man who was coming to live there permanently. He turned out to be quiet and friendly.

I stayed overnight at my friend Jill's place. We have been friends for nearly 30 years. Time does fly.