I sent my wife to a respite centre for a week. She had previously attended this centre and "enjoyed" it, and I had a measure of confidence in its standards. Sadly, a carer trained in manual handling of the disabled was transferring her from the wheelchair to a recliner and my wife FELL. She banged her head on the floor and her side on a coffee table. Later X-rays ruled out cracked ribs, but my wife was extremely shaken and her poor movements are now more severe. She has noticeably worse balance problems (not just lack of confidence). This we know is a typical response in PSP.
I have kept her from falling since 26 October 2012! Now someone in a respite centre has mismanaged a transfer with a consequent fall. They had full written details of her PSP condition and my own extensive education about the symptoms and high falls risk. All to no avail. Am I being too harsh on them, after all, her geriatrician told me that I cannot immunise her against falls (in such places). Well, I cannot really accept this type of incident among those who are specifically trained to move disabled patients. Clearly, if they had assessed my wife correctly, they should have used two carers for all transfers. Sadly, nursing homes and respite centres admit they cannot guarantee prevention of falls. This may be acceptable if the patient is trying to mobilise on their own, but I am not sure if it's really acceptable when a carer is present and they are supposed to understand the nature of the patient's movement problem. Perhaps the problem in Australia is that aged care workers can enter this area without qualifications, and are taught "on the job". Most employers insist on some qualifications but the courses/qualifications can be achieved in 6 weeks or latest 6 months. They pay them sub standard wages and the turnover rate is very high. I'll come off my soapbox now.
I doubt if they will produce a formal report on this incident, but I'll investigate further. (When I worked in a large teaching hospital, we always had to produce an incident report for similar occurrences).
I suppose I'm angry, frustrated and disappointed.
(It doesn't help when I'm dealing with some personal health issues. I just want to stay healthy enough to outlive my wife and take care of her in our home "until the end", if that is at all possible).