A LOVING husband who cares for his Alzheimer’s suffering wife is worried she may die in a nursing home because social services is dragging its feet over sorting out a care package.
Arthur Stedman provides around- the-clock care and support for his wife Mavis after she developed the dementia more than a decade ago but is worried a prolonged spell in a home may quicken her physical deterioration.
Mr Stedman, himself is in his eighties, said, “Five weeks ago my wife contracted pneumonia. According to the paramedic, nothing too serious, but as well to see a doctor.
“Mavis would not let him examine her, so he arranged for her to go into the DGH.
“Social workers got wind of this, so a best interest meeting was held at the DGH where it was decided Mavis should be discharged into a nursing home for a period of six weeks.
“My protestations were ignored. I knew six weeks would be until she died, because she will barely eat or drink when apart from me.
“I visit her every day, and watch her go downhill, mentally and physically.
“Being bed bound, she can no longer walk, and has developed a blood clot which requires three months of daily injections.
“I also write a daily letter explaining to all in authority the state of affairs and why Mavis should be sent home instantly.
“Another best interest meeting was held and the earlier decision was reversed. That was the best part of two weeks ago, but still my lovely wife is in the DGH because arrangements have to be made for her care at home.”
Mr Stedman wants to care for his beloved Mavis until “the very end” and says he finds it heart-breaking to not be with her and that being apart from her husband not only adds to her confusion but frightens Mavis.
“Sometimes she comes up to me and says, ‘Where is my Arthur? I haven’t seen him for such a long time’.
“I point at myself and tell her I am here for her. She does get frightened sometimes and I say, ‘As long as we are together we are all right’.
“I always say to myself, if it was the other way round Mavis would look after you. She looked after me for all those years and now it is my turn.”
A spokesman for the county council said they were unable to comment on individual cases but that social services had to make sure the right support was available. They added, “It can of course, take time in complex situations, before everything is in place to ensure a safe discharge.”