Many of our clients, particularly those who are ageing alone without close family to support them, are worried about who will act for them should they become ill, incapacitated or lose mental capacity. TimeFinders are experienced Advocates and we will work with you to plan ahead so that we can support you and ensure that your voice is heard and your wishes considered should you be unable to do so for yourself.
This is just one example of how TimeFinders ensured that our client’s wishes were followed:
Mrs I. is a very elderly woman with advanced dementia. TimeFinders was asked to provide an Oversight Service for her as her son, and Power of Attorney, lives abroad. Working with the family for four years, initially whilst Mrs I. had some capacity and ability to communicate, TimeFinders has been able to build a picture of Mrs I.’s views on end of life care. Mrs I. was adamant that when “her time came, she should be allowed to slip away”. As a result, a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) notice and explicit instructions regarding life prolonging treatment has been put on her Care Plan.
TimeFinders noted that with a change in the management of the care home, the majority of carers were now from eastern Europe. It became apparent that many of the staff were practicing Roman Catholics whose beliefs on end of life care differed from our client’s wishes and those of her family.
At a weekend when both the Manager and Deputy Manager were not on duty, Mrs I. became very unwell. The carer in charge summoned the paramedics and telephoned the TimeFinder as the emergency contact. It became clear that the carer was uncomfortable about the Care Plan, particularly the DNR notice and the instructions about life prolonging treatment, and had not given this information to the visiting locum doctor. The TimeFinder had to intervene and instruct the locum GP to follow the Care Plan.
Mrs I. survived the weekend and, after consultation with Mrs I.’s son, the TimeFinder organized a meeting with the care home management, senior care staff and Mrs. I.’s lead carer to discuss how her end of life wishes would be executed in the face of the religious difficulties this posed for individual staff members. Remarkably, this was something that had never been discussed within the care home. The care manager realized that training was necessary for his staff to understand that the resident’s wishes took precedence over their own beliefs and needed support to be able to set personal belief aside in order to comply with a resident’s express wishes. The local GP and Palliative care team have now also become involved to ensure that out of hours’ locum care respects the decisions of residents and follows the Care Plan.