Failure in duty care to vulnerable adult

This letter is being written from a personal observation by her niece regarding the care received at a particular Home of the Aged.

My decision to write this is to raise awareness of the Lack of Care, Empathy and for early intervention to be put in place to stop a re-occurrence of this event.

In October 2017, a family member was able to secure accommodation for my aunt at this particular home as she was unable to reside in her current property in Windward, Carriacou and her local care home had a long waiting list. It was chosen because it catered for my aunt’s religious belief as a Catholic.

As I reside in the United Kingdom, regular contact was made via Whatsapp at times the connection was very poor. However, on 2nd November 2017 I sent a text message asking how my aunt’s condition was – the message was opened but not responded to.

On the 23rd December 2017 and the 10th January 2018 pictures were sent by the home of my aunt to me. The images were harrowing, she was in a wheelchair and looked confused, and undernourished. I was told by staff she is eating and drinking fine.

However, during this time she was admitted to hospital due to dehydration in February 2018. Further text messages were sent during the periods of March and April 2018 – they were opened but no respond was given about my aunt’s wellbeing.

On the 13th April 2018, I arrived in Grenada with my husband and we visited my aunt on the Sunday. I noticed on our arrival the staff would disappear as to avoid being questioned.

When I asked what she had eaten we were told she had rice and chicken. This was questionable as she had no teeth and had difficulty in swallowing and taking liquids.

The home was given several baby bottles to aid with my aunt’s feeding but they failed to find it. We had to administer the soup and bread by spoon which took an hour and she drank 3 glasses of water. It became clear that due to the lack of basic training of the staff they didn’t have the patience to fulfil their duty of care.

I made further contact with the home 30th April 2018 and was told she was dehydrated and the doctor will be visiting that day. Before returning to the UK I visited my aunt again 1st May and the doctor arrived then.

My aunt’s condition had deteriorated, her lips were stuck together, her eyelids were heavy, lack of ventilation in the room as windows were closed, and she was groaning in pain.

When a member of staff was asked why the window was closed, she responded: “Don’t Know”.

On Thursday 3rd May, I was sent a text message from the home for a family member to contact the home – I returned the call twice but got no response. My aunt died on Friday, 4th May.

In general, the condition of the home was not fit for the purpose since it was in need of repairs.

Joanne Warrick

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