Thursday 14 December 2017

Nursing home seeks to curb son's visits to his mother

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Aodhan O'Faolain

A nursing home wants to place restrictions on visits by a son to his elderly mother who is a resident at the facility, the High Court has heard.

The nursing home claimed the conditions, limiting the amount of time and days the son can visit his mother, have been imposed due to complaints about the man.

It alleged he administered food and fluid to his mother without using a thickener, which, it was feared, could result in her choking. There have also been complaints about him from families of other residents at the home, it is claimed.

Yesterday, at a vacation sitting of the court, Mr Justice Michael Twomey was informed by lawyers for the nursing home that on one occasion gardaí had to be called to escort the son off the nursing home premises after he entered the facility without permission.

The nursing home says it is taking the matter very seriously and has brought proceedings due to its concerns about the mother's health and safety.

The woman's son, who denies any allegations of wrongdoing, told the court he fears the nursing home's actions will be detrimental to his mother, whom he said he has visited on a daily basis. The woman, who has been in a nursing home since February, is a ward of court and cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Lawyers for the nursing home told Mr Justice Twomey it had been agreed the man's access to his mother would be limited to two hours per day in the afternoons between Monday and Friday. The visits are also to be supervised by senior nursing staff at the facility.

The woman's son told the court that while he was prepared to accept the conditions, he was unhappy he was not allowed visit his mother during the weekends.

He said his mother was in a ward at the home for patients with dementia. While he accepted his mother had memory issues, he said she is quite lucid.

He said that his mother was left alone in a corner of the room by staff, with no interaction or stimulus. His mother, he said, needed to have a proper conversation on a daily basis. If he was not able to visit her on a daily basis he said he feared for his mother's mental health and well-being.

He also denied he had done anything improper with any other patients at the facility.

Mr Justice Twomey adjourned the matter to April, to allow the woman's son file a sworn statement in reply to the nursing home's application when the new legal term commences.

Irish Independent

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