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Dad over two weeks in a short stay ward

Hi,

My 85 year old father who has vascular dementia, type 1 diabetes and heart problems, has been in hospital now for over two weeks on the Short Stay ward. He has infections, pulmonary oedema, pleural effusion and cellulitis but all are now clear, even his blood, and yet his infection markers keep going up and down and he remains on intravenous antibiotics. He has a fungal infection due to the antibiotics, I assume, and remains catheterised. I think he believes he is in another Home rather than hospital and has been very down at times. I don't live near him and, after two and a half weeks, we had to return home last Wednesday. I'm trying to keep informed as much as I can by phone and by a lady from the Home who visits on occasion. There is no continuity of care or someone overviewing my dad due to him being on the Short Stay ward but they are at least still trying to find the source of the continued infection. Is there anything I can or should be doing? As you can imagine I'm worried he might be becoming resistant to antibiotics as he has been on them orally virtually all the time since before Christmas.

Karen

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Hello Klr31, I'm not medically minded and so don't have answers to your question but I sense your anxiety and concerns regarding your Dad. It's always worrying when you live far away, just remind yourself that your Dad is in the best possible place and hopefully the doctors will make him well enough to return to his usual Care Home before too long now.

I think that perhaps you might be in need of a (((hug))) today and so I'm sending one on it's way to you right now and I hope things can be sorted out before much longer. (((HUGS))) xx

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Thank you. I do need a hug so i appreciate that.

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Hi kir31

I don't think there's anything more of a practical nature that you can be doing. I'd say that the medical profession is working flat out to help him.

Your job now is to keep on doing what you are so obviously already doing... love him and think of him, and stay in touch with the hospital for updates.

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Hi Kir31 and thank you for your post. At the moment, your father needs the antibiotics in order to treat his infection. As a general rule, antibiotics may be recommended for people who are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of infection. This includes people aged over 75 years, people with heart failure, and people who have to take insulin to control their diabetes. As glo42 mentioned, your father is in the best possible place, so just continue doing what you are doing and the hospital will continue to provide updates on his progress. Do stay on this caring forum to keep us updated on his progress and look after yourself. Take care and best wishes.

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I suppose I'm feeling guilty because I can't visit dad and he's alone in a hospital bed, confused and poorly.

Karen

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Hi Karen, it's so hard for you being far away but as said I'm sure your Dad is being looked after well and is in the best place , as long as you are kept in Touch with what's going on that's all you can do, keep us updated, and take care

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I thought the first rule of dementia was continuity , I'm a carer in the community and was always taught this on training along with dignity, where is dignity when you can have a different carer everyday providing personal care ? I am appalled by the care we give now compared to 10 yrs ago , then we did care and we're a excellent service now we have no time ,15 mins calls no continuity along with no communication so we don't no If anything has changed regarding meds , health etc , what is really concerning also is those that could change the way in which we now practice DONT CARE .

One very upset carer

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I know exactly what you are going through emotionally. I am my Dad's full time Caregiver 24/7..I have absolutely zero help from family. You should never, ever feel guilty, you are doing the very best you can do..period!!! Please don't feel any guilt, your father is getting the best care!!! Hugs!!!

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Dad has finally been moved to the Respiratory Ward so has one consultant overseeing his care. He is still on antibiotics and may need the fluid drained from his lung. We may try to go up for a few days to see him again soon. He is expected to be in hospital for at least another couple of weeks apparently. He will probably have forgotten the nursing home by then! Just thought I would put an update.

Karen

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