September is World Alzheimer's month. Below is a case study which shows how a POhWER IMCA supported a man with Alzheimer's disease and his Representative.

Derek and Clarence’s Story

Clarence is an elderly man with advanced Alzheimer’s disease. He lives in a nursing home and because his freedom is restricted he has a DoLS (Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards) authorisation to protect his rights. Clarence’s representative Derek looks out for him and his rights. 

Older black man speaking to his friend - an older white man. both are sitting in armchairs made of a tartan fabricPOhWER received an urgent referral to support both Clarence and Derek as the nursing home seemed to be giving Clarence medication without his knowledge. They did not appear to have followed the correct process when deciding to do this. The medication could cause unacceptable levels of sedation and side effects such as an increased risk of falls.

POhWER advocate, Holly, contacted Derek and explained that her role was to support him to represent Clarence and make sure that decisions were made in his best interests. Derek told Holly that he had no concerns about Clarence’s care.

Holly visited the nursing home. She introduced herself to Clarence and explained why she was there. He was able to communicate well but his concentration span was short; he did not show any signs of being overly sedated. Clarence told Holly that he had no concerns about his care or medication and that he was quite content to live in the care home.   

Holly viewed the care records and noted that Clarence’s care plan had little information about how to monitor and manage the possible effects of the medication. Also although a meeting had been held about giving Clarence the medication, there was very little information about how the decision had been made and why it was being given to him without his knowledge. There was also no record that they had considered alternative options such as distraction techniques.

Holly met with the nurse in charge to discuss her concerns about the home’s recording of the decision making process and the lack of information in the care plan. She agreed to forward information about the correct procedure to the nursing home. She also sent this information to Derek so that he understood what should happen in future.

Holly had a follow up meeting with the home manager and Derek where it was confirmed that the care plans had been updated and that Derek and the nursing home had a much better awareness of the correct decision making process.

Derek was happy with the support he received and more confident about continuing in his role to represent Clarence without an advocate.