Integrating Care for Older People: New Care for Old, a Systems Approach

By Christopher Foote; Christine Stanners | Go to book overview

Preface
Introducing Emily: Problems in the current
systems of care for older people

Emily lies in a corner of the accident and emergency department, worried and agitated and starting to cry She’s alone, her granddaughter who came to see her in hospital left three hours ago to collect her own children from school.

Her shoulder is still painful from where she fell on it and she hasn’t had anything to eat or drink since breakfast. She did not want to come into hospital but the pleasant nurse said that they didn’t think they could send her home to be on her own again and she would find a bed for her somewhere in the hospital by the evening. Her warden will look after the cat, but she has already said two or three times in the last week that Emily should be in a home. Emily doesn’t understand this because the doctor who came to see her said he could not find very much wrong apart from the bruised shoulder and it wasn’t broken. Hadn’t she been going out to do her own shopping until two or three weeks previously? Her own doctor, whom she had seen two to three weeks before, had promised that he would try to keep her at home and see what he could do to improve her strength.

When the warden had found her on the floor early that morning she called the emergency doctor who said to send her straight to casualty. Why don’t they ring my own doctor or that nice social worker who called last week and said she would look into it? They would know what is best for me. All her friends had said don’t go to hospital because even if you come out they don’t let you home. Now her own daughter was dead, her granddaughter could not have her and look after her own children, and she had so prayed that she would not go into a home.

-12-

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