Changing Faciliti

My Mum went into a Dementia Specific facility (fully funded, not govt) in May this year, she was there for approx 3 months and they sent here to a Mental Health facility to assess her medication and address various aggitated behaviours. They have had a lot of difficulties with finding the right medications but seem to finally have it all sorted now so we have been waiting for the go ahead for her to go back to the facility where she originally was. A few weeks ago we were set to meet with the old facility she was in to discuss her moving back and she had a minor fall, leading up to her actually going into a facility she had 3 falls at home nothing major and one when she arrived at the new facility where she actually fractured her pelvis, so yes she is a falls risk but unfortunately there are many other things that she is at risk of also along this journey. Anyways we were happy with this facility 100%, staff were great and they kept her room for her all no worries and so we just expected her to go back to this facility no worries when the time came. The Mental Health facility is now saying we must find somewhere that is willing to restrain my Mum for most of the day as she is a high ‘falls risk’, the policy of the facility she was in is that it is quality of life and prefer not to restrain patients unless it is extreme circumstances, which my Mum isnt, basically most people with Dementia are a ‘falls risk’, we have met with the facility and are all on the same page and in agreement as to the care needed etc when and if my Mum is to go back there and agree that no one can predict what is actually going to happen but we are all willing to work together as necessary. The Mental Health facility are not happy with this outcome for whatever reason and have arranged for us to visit other facilities that will basically agree to restraining my Mum (I actually don’t agree at all with use of any restraint but my Dad will possibly agree to restraints as it will mean my Mum is safe and wont fall). My question is basically can anyone else meaning the mental health facility staff make you change a persons facility? what power do they have in telling you that your relative is not allowed back to a certain facility, the facility we chose is entirely a Dementia Specific place and not and aged care facility and was a breath of fresh air compared to some of the other facilities we saw when we initially looked around, we also employed a Dementia consultant who helped us to choose this facility so it was not chosen quickly as we urgently needed somewhere for my Mum to go there was a lot of thought put into the decision. I just cannot see how they can have control over this decision but they have now prevented my Mum coming out into a nice environment for Christmas as they will not release her into a facility without this restrain policy, so how much pull do these places actually have, I feel like we are being forced to change to this new facility which is further away, and more expensive for such an absolutely insane reason, in the mean time my poor Mum is still just stuck in this horrible mental health place not actually knowing whats going on, or why she is still there and when she will be able to leave its a heartbreaking illness as it is let alone leaving someone locked up on one of these mental health wards.
Sorry for the long and rambling post hopefully I have actaully explained my query?

Hi berry80,I am so sorry that you and your mother are going through this. It sounds as though you have found a very good aged care home for her where she is happy and well cared for and one that she understandably does not wish to leave. Having worked as a clinical physiotherapist in aged care homes for 15 years the question re physical restraint is often not straight forward. There has been a lot of discussion around the use of physical and chemical restraints during the Aged Care Royal Commission this year . My understanding is that the the new regulations as from 1 July this year state that an aged care home must be able to show that they have exhausted all other measures to ensure a resident’s safety before they resort to physical restraint. This includes sensor mats for chairs and beds, keeping bed heights low, mattresses on floor next to bed, having residents who are deemed a falls risk kept close to nurses stations etc where they are more closely supervised and more. There should always be ongoing discussion with family and the clinical team at the aged care home about the best way forward to both respect a residents’ “dignity of risk” whilst at the same time protecting them from injury. I am not aware of the regulations allowing a mental health facility to make these decisions on behalf of your mother and override those of your family and the aged care home. I would recommend that you call OPAN (Older Persons Network). They are a nationwide advocacy group that offers free and independent advice for the consumer within the aged care sector. You can call them on 1800 700 600.

I hope this helps