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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bee in my bonnet and a place to call home

For some years (over a decade) I've had a bee in my bonnet about the impact of relative-ly sudden house moves that older adults often make following sudden bereavement.

This prompted a first and no longer available website 'Beware Reflex Moves'.

This rather silent issue still stands and is arguably growing in volume.

There are surely a series of studies to be made here. Like most forms of life, the patient-nurse encounters of all those years ago have evolved: the ability of Jo(e) Public and their families to independently visit, select and move their relative into residential care is a new factor.

Self-funding frees up valuable resources as people can essentially circumvent the formal assessment processes of social services (and health), negotiating directly with the home of their choice for a place. This place may be many, many miles away from what was home. Amid increasing demand this arrangement works well much of the time. When it fails though, the impact is a personal and social catastrophe that can also reverberate across two health and social care economies. The person's original social services and their new location - that of their family.

Here the 'diagnosis' may not just be bereavement reaction / depression, but dementia too.

So, the advice remains beware of reflex moves.

Wish those bees had stayed in that bonnet - they might be safe now.....

Image source with thanks: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lelonopo/2378726643/