I stepped forwards as his eyes rolled to the top of his head.

This particular day was one of my hardest days ever.

I went to see a lovely gentleman that suffers from dementia and has cancer he had only been home for 24 hours after a spell in hospital. I approached the door put the key code in the door lock and nothing. Umm? Decided to knock on the door. I heard a reply of who is it and I told him my name through the letter box and what company I worked for. He said he was on his way, so I waited. I, of course, tried the key safe again but still nothing and then I heard this massive THUD!  I looked through the letter box to see my client was on the floor with no clothes on. Oh!

I called through the letter box asking if he could hear me? ‘yeah’ he replied.

I asked him if he’s was ok? ‘yes love why are you asking me if I’m ok?’ He said

‘You just fell’ I repied,

‘Did I?’

I asked him if he was able to answer the door and he said yes love and I watch him get up through the letter box walking towards the door. All of a sudden he came tumbling forward into the door this time catching his face on the door handle and hitting his head on the wall. My heart was racing. Again, calling through the letter box asking if he could hear me, he replied ‘yes love’ but admitted he couldn’t remember what had happened.

Hands shaking, I tried the key safe again. Arrgghh, nothing! And I couldn’t get in.

He stood up and unlocked the door and I was in. Phew! We walked together into the lounge. I got his dressing gown for him and checked him over for any injuries. There was a tiny cut on his cheek and another small cut on his head asking him if he had hurt himself? He replied looking confused ‘I haven’t done anything to hurt myself, I’m alright love.’

We chatted and I made him a cup of tea. I went to get something from the bathroom and noticed a leak. I must have said ‘there’s leak’ out loud because before I knew it I could see him coming towards the bathroom. I stepped forwards as his eyes rolled to the top of his head and he fell backwards. There was absolutely nothing I could do apart from get to him quickly and check him over as he came to.

‘You’ve fallen backwards’ I said as I was checking him. ‘Have I?’ he replied.

‘I think we need to get you some help as this is not right’ I said. He agreed. I called 999 and then at their request called 119 – they said someone would call back in a few hours.

As a carer this now becomes incredibly hard. If I leave him, he will forget he’s fallen. Is he safe to be left alone? I called his family but no answer. I called his friend who said he could be there in 20mins. I waited but they didn’t arrive. I called again and waited. Luckily for me I had no one else to see that day and in total waited 3 hours for his friend. Still no phone call from the doctors my client got frustrated as he didn’t want to go to hospital. I spent the hours keeping him calm and explaining what had happened that something was wrong, that as soon as he stood he went dizzy and fell, that he did need to go into hospital as his blood pressure was low and wasn’t safe from falls.

He returned to hospital that day and stayed for a further 2 weeks. The balance between independence and safety is so fine, if we didn’t do visits like this the outcome may have been very different.

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