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A few years after her husband passed away, Eileen began to display signs of dementia and became a risk to herself. Her family took the difficult decision to move her into residential care home.
Initially, the family had no complaints about the care their mother was receiving at the care home. However, they later began to notice that she was frequently suffering from some minor injuries. Due to her dementia she became completely unable to communicate pain, hunger or thirst. She also was unable to make any complaints about the care she was receiving. The family witnessed staff carrying Eileen up and down the stairs from her bedroom to the ground floor, despite there being a chair lift in place. Later, Eileen suffered from two falls in close succession. Eileen suffered an ankle fracture which was not immediately diagnosed because she was unable to communicate her pain. She also was encouraged to walk despite the fracture which resulted in increased discomfort. Her family were concerned about the way in which the staff were mobilising her.
Eileen lost 5 stones in weight. Her family witnessed staff at the care home feeding her via a syringe. They believed that this method of feeding caused Eileen to clamp her mouth shut and consequently lose further weight. The care home also failed to wash Eileen regularly or change her clothes.
It was subsequently decided that the care home could no longer meet Eileen’s increasing needs and she should move to a specialist home that offered nursing care.
Upon admission to the nursing home, it was noted that Eileen was severely dehydrated and she was commenced on intravenous fluids immediately. A number of bruises and pressure sores were found on her body and it was discovered that her fingernails had not been tended to for so long that they were causing injury. The nursing home staff were so concerned about Eileen’s condition that they contacted the police and social services.
Despite the specialist care that Eileen received at the nursing home, she sadly passed away shortly after her admission. Evidence confirmed that Eileen’s dementia had been accelerated and also that her life expectancy was reduced by 3 years because of the negligent treatment she received.
Eileen’s family were shocked and saddened to learn of the concerns over the care their mother had received at the first care home and approached Natasha Read of Shoosmiths for assistance. Natasha helped the family through the legal process and an out of court settlement was reached to reflect the pain and suffering caused to Eileen.