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Stairs

Hello, I am partly looking after elderly parent who has a care pathway. The Care Agency come in to do breakfast, personal hygiene and medicate, give a ready meal at lunchtime, personal hygiene and medicate, same at dinner time, then at bedtime take elderly person to bed upstairs. Person is physically very weak and stairs are a huge risk especially alighting them at bedtime. The Care Agency has said that they will not walk behind the person (weighs less than 6 stone) upstairs to prevent falling backwards as the carer might get injured. When I questioned this the Care Agency said the person should move the bed downstairs. Is this common practice? Any ideas and help gratefully received.

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Hi think this is sensible to ask ,my bed is down stairs as even with stair lift I struggled.l now have hospital bed so that makes things easier for me

I only have a Carer in the mornings then Friends and family help

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Thank you very much. Good advice

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Hi rainbowtulip, good question but I do believe this is standard practice with care agencies nationwide.

Moving the bed could be a good idea or a stairlift. Hope things work out well. Xxxx

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Hi rainbowtulip,

First of all, I'd like to wish you a very warm welcome to this Care Community, as I see you have just joined us.

On the face of it, a bed downstairs would seem to be a sensible answer to a difficult matter. There are specific rules that Carers need to follow with regard to their own health and safety, no matter what size the person being cared for is.

I know of many people who have resorted to a bed downstairs, including my own mother and it worked out really well for her, as her bathroom was downstairs.

It's maybe not such a clear-cut advantage if toilet and bathing facilities are upstairs, but that can still be managed with the help of maybe a commode, and bed-bathing for much of the time.

It's more difficult if it is a shared home and there is no separate downstairs room for the bed to be placed. It can be inconvenient in a very small home that's being shared, and is disruptive for all concerned.

But it sounds as if, for the sake of this person's safety, it might be well worth considering.

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Many thanks for the timely advice.

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I also think it comes under health and safety for both parties In my home where I work no resident is allowed to use the stair well even with carers unless it's an emergency

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Hello rainbowtulip, I think that if the person you're caring for is far too weak to use stairs, I'm not too sure be ause my mum is in the same position waiting to comw our of a nursing home . The social worker told my dad mum needs to sleep downstairs or live in another nursing home. Hopefully her hospital bed comes by next week and my dad sleeps upstairs and the physio annd OT will be coming in to help my mum and needs two people to transfer mum from bed to chair and everything. But a few months ago my dad used to walk behind mum to take her tge bathroom andwait for her then he stood in front of her to help her down and sometimes had hold of mums hands incase she fell but earlier in rhe year she fell in kitchen and burt her head and back. When dad came home e picked her up and placed her onto settee where she had to sleep in the end but dad has always done and will do his best for her Dad didnt mind helping mum to stand up crom sertee ir assist on thhe stairs Iys just that he has been told he was doing wrong and he did hurt his back doing it plus personal care and apparently it takes two nurses ti lift mum and transfer he would do anything to keep her iut of permanent nursing homes.

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Hi Paula, its awful when a loved one doesn't want to sleep downstairs so has to go upstairs. The bathroom is upstairs and the only space for a downstairs hospital bed is right next to the kitchen which has no door. So not conducive to rest. I understand now it is health and safety and unsafe for our mum to go upstairs as she is very weak but she has the determination of a rhino!! Thanks for your understanding

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Hi rainbowtulip, . Our house is the same ,my mums bed and other mobility equipment is going in the lounge which is right next to the kitchen and the bathroom is upstairs so I can see where you are coming from. Hope your loved one gets all the medical treatment they need with help from tour social services.

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It would be better for the bed to be taken downstairs, both for the safety of your parent and the carers. I'm actually surprised it hasn't been mentioned before. It is common practice.

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Hi all! It is against health and safety policy for employees to attempt to lift alone, or to catch a falling person bcs of a hi risk of personal injury (with incumbent time off work and potential for seeking compensation). Time off work hits both the company and the client as a result of staffing issues. They also cannot use lifting gear (including wheelchairs, transfer boards,stairlifts etc.) without formal training. These rules apply to employers/employees, not to friends n family in the home settings

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I am considering moving my father downstairs too. I think that once a person becomes as frail as you just described, they naturally use so much less of the space they once used anyway, that it kind of happens by itself. I would 100% move the bed downstairs, as long as there is a bathroom there (convert to wetroom). My father has a stairlift but even then he just uses the one bedroom out of three and the dining room is never used. The wetroom is downstairs so it makes so much sense for him to move his bedroom into the dining room. But convincing him could be another matter... hope you manage to find a solution for everyone. Difficult times!

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I see that your bathroom is upstairs. Could you persuade your parent to sell up and move into either a ground floor flat or sheltered accommodation? I am also considering this, plus possibly moving in with us although our house is listed and we are not allowed to make the necessary alterations here. Alternatively could you add a wetroom as an extension downstairs?

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