I want to start this by saying I love the NHS and the thousands of staff that keep our country healthy.
However I feel one area is lacking. Our elderly people are falling down the cracks.
My dad has falls which are random and due to Parkinson's. It can be months with none or several in a week.
He has recently had a bad spell. Saturday & Sunday he was unwell. On Monday he fell with no injury.
I called the doctors who diagnosed a urine infection so I collected some antibiotics.
However he fell again with no injury but could not get up. He is a 15 stone man who I cannot lift. Luckily after a fraught hour a neighbour helped.
Once back in bed he felt more comfortable.
When the carers arrived they said as he'd fallen an ambulance needed to be called.
He had no injury but was unwell.
This is where my dilemma comes in.
I'd had dealings with ambulance staff twice before due to falls. One team were nice the other told me it was not their job to pick up people who had fallen over.
In my opinion an ambulance is unnecessary but there is not an in between service.
An ambulance team costs a lot of money and being called out prevents them getting to something more life threatening.
When my dad or any elderly person falls I believe an intermediate team is required to check them over & suggest the next step which could be GP home visit, ICT team visit or hospital referral.
Obviously if the fall has resulted in an injury an ambulance is required but the 3 times I've now dealt with them my dad has not been injured. Twice has been due to infection & weakness. The other time appears to have been medication related.
I feel both thankful and guilty to the ambulance teams.
I know this will probably happen again and am at a lost as what to do.
I'm hoping with a few tweaks he can be monitored more but its the randomness of the falls that cannot be planned for.
The team were so lovely & said I could call back if worried but it feels like an unnecessary use of resources.
I strongly believe a fall team should be invested in arriving in a smaller vehicle. Staff trained to safely lift a patient and assess the situation. This would relieve pressure on ambulance staff and be a better use of correct resources.
I also believe more information needs to be available for family as to help available. I've found it a huge uphill struggle.
I don't know the answers but feel our elderly care does need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Love Emma xxx