Thursday, 9 February 2012

'Care' Homes & Smoking

On twitter @DickPuddlecote has drawn my attention to this article from deadlinenews, one relating to a 83 year-old man who will be forced to go outside as the smoking-room is being closed for the reason that the health and well-being of other residents is an "utmost priority" of the care home in question,


The care home in question, Canmore Lodge Care Home in Dunfermline, Fife is one of many owned by Barchester Healthcare who pride themselves on "treating everyone as individuals..........and ensuring every day is thoroughly enjoyable."; whilst also priding themselves on the fact they consider "their dedication can be seen 'across the board' where their hospitality is concerned". The Barchester website also proclaims that "......you can be assured of the best quality care tailored to meet your individual needs; home environments that are warm, friendly and leading-edge....."


It has to be said that depriving an individual of the freedom to enjoy what can be assumed is one of a few remaining pleasures that remain in this man's life is not treating him as an individual, nor ensuring every day is thoroughly enjoyable. It also brings into doubt their claim about 'hospitality', whilst also casting doubt on their claim to provide home environments that are warm and friendly. I would have thought that in the last years of our lives those looking after us would do everything to ensure that those last years are enjoyable and thus free from sorrow. Yet the situation of the two men involved in this article means they are subjected to a life that will not be enjoyable and free from sorrow - and it is being decided by those with a belief in political correctness and their decisions being those based on highly questionable 'scientific' findings. It has to be said that when those making the decisions of today become subjected to the world they have/are creating - they ain't going to like it much!


My mother, who has attained her century, is also in a care home, one run by West Berkshire County Council. Where the level of care and dedication of the staff who work there is concerned, neither can be faulted. The story, related above, made me dig out' the brochure I received when I was touring the choice of care homes available at the time it became necessary that I ceased acting as her carer because I felt uncomfortable attending to her personal needs. This brochure stated that "We understand that living in ones own home may be preferable, so we aim to create a homely atmosphere." and "Smoking is only allowed in your own bedroom and the grounds of the home". West Berkshire have recently announced that not only is smoking not allowed in bedrooms (ones that they maintain is the residents own room) but also within the grounds of the care home.


Which reminds me, I must start asking a few questions.....................

12 comments:

john in cheshire said...

My mother is approaching 81 and she is getting increasingly frail and forgetful. But, for reasons similar to those you highlight (though she is not a smoker) I will try my best to look after her in her own house, rather than put her in a 'home'. If you can't do the things in a place for which vast amounts of money are paid in order to live there, that one would do in one's own home then what's the point of them. We seem to be slowly adopting the policy of euthanasia that was invented and pursued by the socialists and communists at the beginning of the last century. Soylent Green, anyone?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

jic: I admire your effort! It is very much a personal thing for me - I just could not handle taking care of her bathing and toilet needs - I felt she would be embarrassed as was I most definitely.......

john in cheshire said...

It's not admirable, and neither is it always pleasant. But it's just something that I feel I have to do. I'd love to emigrate to NZ, I think, but while she's here, then that plan has to wait. Also, I suppose that as one gets older, one tends to stay near to those who might just feel some familial obligation to look after me as I approach a similar end. On that, mind, I'm not too hopeful, so I'll end up in one of those godforsaken edifices to man's inhumanity to man, the old folks home.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

jic: As I say, it is down to personal ability etc.....

I visit her every Sunday - she only has a half pension which all goes in care home fees, I buy all her clothes and anything else she needs, I take her fresh flowers every week.

Yes I would dearly like to do more, to give her 24/7 personal care, but I can't afford that.

john in cheshire said...

WfW, forgive me if I give the impression of making judgement. I am not. We all do what we can. That's all we can do. I suppose, in my clumsy way, I'm agreeing with what you have said. And challenge the home's policy on smoking. It's just cruel and callous to house people and then deprive them of basic freedoms. And being old and powerless, these officals follow their own logic regardless of how it affects the individual. While I think that places such as old peoples homes and social workers etc attract many callous people, I think in the main they follow a flawed logic, which prevents them from seeing what they are doing and allows them to justify their actions. A bit like the concentration camp guards. They'd probably never allow their own parents to live under such conditions, but can't translate that to a sense of humanity towards others. I hope this makes sense.

right_writes said...

In "other" news the Canmore Lodge Care Home has just been renamed and re-opened by Mr. Alex Salmon (:-))…

Hereinafter, it shall be known as the Canmore Lodge Workhouse.

livescore said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael J. McFadden said...

I just posted the following to the news article and thought I shoudl share it here too:

==
“A spokesman for the care home said: ‘Canmore Lodge can confirm that they will be closing the smoking room at the home as the health and wellbeing of our residents is always our utmost priority.’ ”

Absolute nonsense. I defy Canmore Lodge to provide even a single scientific study showing real harm to people from the levels of smoke that would be expected to migrate from that “smoking room” to other residents in the home. There are none. There may be “statements” from authoritative advocates and their organizations, there may be generalized “reports” offering opinions about studies, there may be studies showing that it is possible to measure microscopic traces of elements in the air, but if you actually look at the literature you will find NOTHING that offers the evidence of real harm that would justify such an action.

In reality such a ban could actually INCREASE the one arguable threat, the threat of accidental fire. With a proper smoking room containing fire safety devices (ashtrays), a minimum of flammable materials, and subject to a monitoring situation, the risk of such a fire is near zero. Remove that room and the risk of hidden smoking, without ashtrays, in rooms filled with flammable materials, and in situations where butts are likely to be quickly and improperly disposed of upon approach of authority… and you have created a situation that is BEGGING for accidental fires.

If such fires ever happen in this or in any other such housing situation where smoking has been banned I hope the people affected do everything in their power to go after the legal liability of those who imposed the bans in full knowledge of the increased risks they were creating. The bans are NOT being imposed because of concerns about the health and well-being of nonsmokers: they are simply being imposed to socially engineer the affected smokers into the “proper” nonsmoking behavior.

Michael J. McFadden
Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

andy5759 said...

WfW, I too have an ageing mother, whom I love very much. The thought of her going into a "care" home sends shudders down my spine. Although I work full time I have moved in to her house to provide some company and of course the chores which keep her active. When the time comes for the rather more messy duties I will hand over to my sister. I am fortunate that the two of us can share these responsibilities because, like you, I could not do these things any more than she would allow me to.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

MJM: Thank you for your visit to my humble blog and for cross-posting your comment. I could not agree more - and as for 'second-hand smoke', please don't get me started......!

That we owe the elderly of today for our 'present' seems to have escaped the notice of those who control us.

a5759: I admire the sense of responsibility exhibited by you and your sister. That you have a sister is good - I just have one brother, in Bury, who we see maybe once a year.

Your last 17 words resonates with me! I could not bring myself to impose what amounts to that indignity upon my Mother.

Michael J. McFadden said...

In case anyone thinks this is an isolated case, it's not. I've gotten a number of emails over the years from sad, frightened, and angry senior citizens faced with similar situations. Here's one that made the news just last week:

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/feb/08/russ-lemmon-smoking-inside-apartment-puts-woman/?partner=RSS

Nice of the authorities to offer to "let" her go outside and smoke, isn't it?
- MJM

WitteringsfromWitney said...

MJM: Thanks for the additional update.