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Are our Care Homes in trouble?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by install, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. install

    install Star commenter

    Good point. I hadn’t thought about those with no relatives @Ivartheboneless

    Is it possible that might automatically mean less care because no one relative will check on them I wonder?
  2. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    At my dad's care home, as of a week ago they had had four deaths almost certainly from Covid-19. I expect there have been more by now. The home is for people with the most advanced dementia, all of whom will have other health problems. The manager told me that, unlike younger, healthier people, the residents who had died had declined very quickly, and died within a couple of days of showing symptoms. Without seeming heartless, this is a natural end for them. It would have been unkind, sometimes impossible, to do anything for many of them apart from palliative care. They were all near to the end of their lives and many, like my dad, were very unhappy, confused, ill and frail, unable to do any of the things they might have wanted to do. The home is doing a magnificent job in very difficult circumstances. The fact that there have been a lot of deaths isn't because they or anyone else has done anything wrong, it's because all the people they care for are already frail, and it would be wrong to do any kind of heavy intervention with the residents when they get an infection like this.
  3. install

    install Star commenter

    Good point @Doitforfree
    pepper5 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Two of the largest providers of care homes in the UK have revealed the deaths of 521 residents from coronavirus in recent weeks, in the clearest sign yet of the rising scale of fatalities outside the NHS which are not yet being officially announced.

    HC One, which operates about 350 homes, said that as of 8pm on Monday there had been 311 deaths from confirmed or suspected Covid-19 with outbreaks in two thirds of its homes. MHA, a charitable operator, said there have been 210 deaths across 131 homes, with outbreaks in about half of its homes.

    install likes this.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    Just found this recent report. It seems there may be many more Care Home deaths due the virus than previously thought, and one issue is the lack of testing:

    ‘ On Monday, England's chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said 13.5% of the UK's care homes had at least one resident with a confirmed case of coronavirus, up from 9% the previous week.

    But the figures from Europe, taken between 6 and 11 April, suggest a higher rate of infection and fatality from the disease.

    In Spain, figures from media reports showed 57% of all COVID-19 deaths could be in care homes, while official figures in Ireland showed the rate there to be around 54%.

    In Belgium, official data showed a rate of 42% and in France the figure was 45%. In Italy, extrapolation of an official survey showed around 53% of COVID-19 deaths were in care homes.

    The researchers did say that the systems for recording deaths linked to COVID-19 in care homes varied between different countries and regions.

    Professor Whitty said he would like to see testing increased at care homes.

    "One of the things we want to do is to extend the amount of testing of people in care homes as the ability to test ramps up over the next few weeks.

    "Because clearly care homes are one of the areas where there are large numbers of vulnerable people and that is an area of risk and therefore we would very much... like to have much more extensive testing."
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Thank you @harsh-but-fair

    I found this part particularly disturbing:

    Ros Altmann, the former government minister, has said care home residents “are being abandoned like lambs to the slaughter”.

    ...She added that “because no family are allowed to visit, there is very little scrutiny”.
    pepper5 and harsh-but-fair like this.
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    There are announcements of deaths outside hospitals every week from the ONS. They have just released the latest available stats, which state that there have been 406 registered deaths up to 3rd April due to Covid-19 that have occured outside hospitals. 217 of these took place in care homes.

    (The figures will always lag behind NHS Hospital stats and the figures reported directly to the media by care homes, such as those you reproduced, because of the time that registration details take to be collated. The period for the week ending today will obviously be considerably higher and will be released around this time next week.)
    pepper5, ajrowing, WB and 2 others like this.
  8. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    The care home statistics are shocking, but unsurprising.
    The facilities I know, so far are not (mostly) the end of life facilities and seem well run by caring staff.
    End of life facilities are places of last resort, and probably undervalued by society. We seem unwilling to pay the necessary money either by direct contributions from those with estates big enough to pay for themselves or from taxation. Theresa May's attempts to improve the funding of social care were lampooned as death taxes and cost her votes and support.
    My father in law lives in what seems to be a well run complex of sheltered housing. So far (AFAIK) they have remained safe from the virus and sensible steps have been put in place to try to minimise spread of infection (no more communal lunches, no social activities). It is not a full care home, residents often move on to more specialised facilities when they are unable to care for themselves. However, I suspect that if C19 were to be introduced, the consequences would be significant as all the residents I've met are definitely on the "at risk list".
    pepper5, ajrowing and install like this.
  9. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Both my parents spent their final years in care homes. And both homes were quite lovely and the staff the most caring people on the planet.
    Not all care homes are poor standard...............in fact I'd say the majority are fine. It's the system that is at fault.
  10. shakes1616

    shakes1616 Established commenter

    I know a family who own three care homes. The parents own them and their two children. I used to teach one of the children. We don't speak any more though. Even though the children went to private schools and university to be an accountant they work for the parents' care home. Easy life for some people.
  11. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Other factors, I believe, played a role. It came later to Portugal, thus they started the lockdown earlier in their process and closed the border with Spain very quickly.
    Yes they are - but once testing, care homes and time scale are taken into account - maybe not. Around 30 to 40% of recorded deaths in those countries are coming from outside hospitals.
  12. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Absolutely, I don't quite understand this furore because as you say the figures for deaths in the community are regularly published by the ONS but may be as much as ten days behind the deaths in hospital figures which are accurately published on a daily basis. Surely, if the government wanted to keep us all fully focused on social distancing the more scary the statistics the better. Why on earth would they want to hide these figures?
    ajrowing likes this.
  13. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Uh huh. Yet one that other heavily affected countries don't seem to be following.
    I wouldn't.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    That is scandalous. :mad:

    Agreed. There have been plans to look at this for over 11 years now and still nothing has been done.
    We definitely need to have Care Homes run by councils as they used to be, on a non-profit base and linked in to the NHS system.

    I think that depends on whether they;re being cared for within family or having 'outside agencies' coming in to care and therefore more potential exposure.

    We do have to remember this. I remember when the Dr and I agreed that we wouldn't give my Mum the pneumonia jab as at least that would be a relatively 'quick end' compared to the long interminable end -bedbound and unable to communicate, even by eye-contact or squeezing a hand that she had to endure for those final 2 years. Pneumonia usde to be called the 'people's friend' years ago and they were likely to get pneumonia in the latter stages anyway.
  15. install

    install Star commenter

    Good point @Oscillatingass

    Maybe not using the figures on their announcements is to keep a level of calm. Maybe they recognise there are a number of deaths per year anyway in Care Homes.

    I can imagine the worry, guilt and stress of having a relative in a Care Home where there have been lots of Coronavirus related deaths though. I think the lack of discussion about Care Homes on the tv news is what is also possibly causing the furore imho.
    sunshineneeded likes this.
  16. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    That's no different to anyone working for a family business. I have a friend who took over the family funeral business that had been started by his grandfather. Another worked in the family fish business,until it became unstainable. Working in a family business is not necessarily an easy option.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  17. CarrieV

    CarrieV Lead commenter

    My mother is in a care home with Lewy's Body dementia-she can't speak, can't walk without help, cant feed or dress herself. Her care home has been in lockdown since mid March and I haven't seen her since 12th March ( including yesterday which was her birthday) As she can't speak, I can phone but have no idea if she knows who I am or what I'm saying. But the care home have been absolutely fantastic, sending photos and videos of Mum and the other residents. So far they are virus free but I'm just waiting for the message that says it has reached them. The situation regarding PPE equipment is a disgrace, but then so is the funding of care homes in general. A complete overhaul of the system is needed.
  18. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Really? Reuters reported that Italy does not include care home deaths in its daily covid morbidity stats (I doubt that many countries do, since confirmed stats from death certificates are generally not available quickly enough for daily reporting, unlike hospital deaths):

    Uncounted among coronavirus victims, deaths sweep through Italy's nursing homes
    Oscillatingass likes this.
  19. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Given the number of care homes that go bust, I very much doubt that. The FT reported last year that Britain’s four largest privately owned care home operators have debts of £40,000 a bed, meaning their annual interest charges alone absorb eight weeks of average fees paid by local authorities on behalf of residents.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  20. Sally006

    Sally006 Lead commenter

    I’m very concerned as well, Install. Not so long ago I was visiting my poor mum in one of these and care homes were struggling then due to shortages of staff. Just can’t begin to imagine the horrific situation they are in now. Victoria Derbyshire quoted ONS statistics (any death with Covid19 on the certificate) for week ending 3rd April as 16,000!! That was 2 weeks ago. OMG! Now I must have misheard the next bit so someone please correct me. Did I hear the figure for the the previous week of”20” correctly? Can’t be, surely? Then again I wondered if there was a difference in how deaths were being recorded? No. It must be my ears. Even so, I did not mishear the 16,000.

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