Sometimes of course people residing in nursing and residential care facilities become so ill they need to go into hospital. In community mental health terms this can mean that an individual's behaviour can be so disturbed they need specialist assessment and care. It is essential to ensure they can have the best quality of life that their circumstances can provide, without resort to 'care by medication'.
The job means listening to people in care asking to go home. Staff need to be skilled and sensitive in how they respond to such requests, especially when they are repeated time after time. Family members can really struggle with this; should they visit? It is amazing how things can change though...
Quite a while ago I visited a care home and had arrived a bit early. As I turned-up the lady I'd called to see had just returned back from a stay in hospital. It was remarkable to see her recognise the home as home. She responded warmly to the nurse in charge, the many greetings and reassurances offered plus the familiar surroundings. As we accompanied this lady through to her room, it made our day (my week) to hear the deep sigh of relief when the door to her room was opened.
She said, "Oh, it's good to be back."
Walking over to the side of her bed, this highly trained life-trooper stopped.
Suddenly this lady made like a falling pine in Grizedale forest. In slow motion she fell sideways to greet her bed with another sigh - satisfaction and rest. The home manager and I just looked at each other....
Close call that - just missing the wall - but so good to be 'home' at last.
Image source: http://www.english-lakes.com/grizedale_forest.html