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Lessons that need to be learned
The family of 82-year-year-old May Thirkill are understandably furious after she was allowed to walk out in the dead of night from a care home.
The Alzheimer’s patient fell over on the pavement in the pouring rain and was fortunately spotted by a passer-by very quickly, or the consequences could have been far worse.
In fairness to Yorkshire Housing, which owns Emily Court, where Mrs Thirkill was staying at the time, they have held their hands up and apologised for the incident.
But this is something that should never have been allowed to happen. The home should have made sure a vulnerable patient like Mrs Thirkill had no way of wandering out on her own, particularly at night.
The Telegraph & Argus launched its With Respect campaign last year in a bid to raise awareness of issues relating to how we care for our elderly in society.
In this case, the care of an elderly resident with Alzheimer’s was lacking, and resulted in an incident which left her frightened, injured and in need of hospital treatment.
It is important the home establishes how that could happen and ensure, as they have promised to do, that any procedures necessary to avoid it happening again are put in place.
For Mrs Thirkill’s family, who share the care for her normally, her stay in Emily Court should have given them a break from the constant worry and anxiety of looking after her and they had used the opportunity to take a family holiday to Mexico. Instead, their dream break was ruined and their mother ended up terrified and injured.
Hopefully lessons will be learned from this incident and it will not happen again at this home and anywhere else that cares for vulnerable elderly people.