The daughter of a resident at Dumbarton’s Castle View care home has hit out at the ‘heartbreaking’ condition she found her mother in had faced.
Sharon Calderwood contacted the Lennox after being appalled to find her beloved mum, Agnes McKenzie Ross, who has advanced dementia, left wearing soiled clothes, in pain and with little support or stimulation.
The Care Inspectorate say they are looking into the family’s concerns.
Daughter Sharon praised hardworking Castle View carers, but feels they are under pressure.
Agnes, 75, moved into Castle View after her condition deteriorated, leaving her husband unable to care for her at home.
After a spell living with dairy farmer Sharon, who has a son with additional support needs and another with a lifelong illness, the decision was taken that Agnes would be best supported in a nursing home. She received an emergency placement at Castle View.
However quickly Sharon says became concerned when she discovered her mum in soiled clothing, was suffering from toothache and hadn’t been washed.
Sharon told the Lennox: “Unfortunately we didn’t get off to a great start.
“The main reason for visiting my mum isn’t to do little activities to try and make as many memories as we possibly can. I’m going in there to clean my mum.
“I’ve asked on numerous occasions how long a resident will be left in a soiled pull-up.
“Someone with dementia has human rights.
“If my mum is difficult or rude, I understand that, but will they go back again, or will they just be left?
“I think that’s one of the biggest nightmares for my dad. He always had mum clean, tidy and respectable.
“I know my mum is in the later stages of her disease. She has no understanding of personal care.
“That’s the whole reason why we contacted social work and started asking for help.
“I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like she isn’t being treated with any dignity. It’s an absolute sin. When I go in, my mum looks filthy.
“My mum was away having lunch and was then brought back into the room. As soon as she came back in I could smell that she had soiled herself.
“If I can smell it, how can the staff not smell it?
“My mum cannot stay in there.
“I think that these big companies like HC-One should be providing their caregivers and nursing staff with access to more learning. It’s definitely lacking in Castle View.”
And she says her dad, Agnes’ devoted husband of 56 years Gerry, who is 79, has been left worrying constantly about his wife.
Sharon told the Lennox: “It’s nearly 10 years since my mum was first diagnosed with cardiovascular dementia.
“My dad has been the main caregiver, but things just started to go drastically downhill at the start of the summer.
“It was getting too much for my dad. He was getting some support, twice a day ladies would come in to help my mum with her personal care.
“But unfortunately it started to have an impact on his health as well.
“My poor wee dad is absolutely devastated.
“He goes to visit mum every single day. He’s so devoted to her.
“My mum has no quality of life and her deterioration has been severe.
“She can’t express herself anymore. My dad couldn’t leave for four hours because my mum was crying the whole time, asking when he was going to take her home.
“That’s not someone who is feeling secure and happy in their home. That’s somebody who is traumatised.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear the impact on my dad. It’s so hard to hear him cry.”
Sharon was keen to praise front line staff at the Castlegreen Street facility.
She added: “The staff who work at Castle View are lovely. But I just don’t feel as if they have enough support.
“There are people at all different stages of dementia in there.
“It will be extremely difficult for the carers.
“It’s incredibly hard work and they are working long hours on low pay.”
Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton’s MSP, has been supporting Agnes’ family.
The Labour member said: “It is alarming to hear that Ms Ross has experienced such difficulties while resident at Castle View Care Home.
“I have written to both management at the home and the Care Inspectorate to try and resolve this issue as it is distressing for both Ms Ross and her family.
“I urge all parties to engage in a conversation to ensure that the welfare of Ms Ross is at the heart of any decisions made regarding her care.”
A spokesman for Castle View Care Home said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents are always our top priorities which is why we work with them and their loved ones to review and respond to their feedback.
“We are working closely with Mrs Ross’s family, including meeting regularly with them and the Social Work Team, to make sure she is receiving the best possible care.
“As with all care plans, our Team always considers the personal choices of Residents, and in line with our values of dignity and respect, Residents must agree and accept personal care before it can be given.
“The home is receiving support from our Senior Area Team to make sure we are responding to all feedback and adapting how we provide care to meet everyone’s specific needs and behaviours. Everyone is united in their desire to provide Mrs Ross, and all our Residents, with the best possible care.”
A spokeswoman for the Care Inspectorate said: “A concern has been raised with us about this service. We are considering all information given to us carefully. If we uphold a complaint about any care service we publish the outcome on our website.
“Everyone in Scotland has the right to good quality, safe care which meets their needs and respects their rights.
“Anyone with a concern can contact us on 0345 600 9527.”