"I'm getting on absolutely fabulous" - One woman's experience of leaving a nursing home

Rosie decided to discharge herself against the wishes of her daughters and nurses

"I'm getting on absolutely fabulous" - One woman's experience of leaving a nursing home

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The ‘Assisted Decision Making Act’ was passed on December 17th, 2015.

The legislation was initially established to ensure the rights of older people to an independent life.

However, according to the Sage advocacy group for older people, the new Act is ‘sitting on the shelf gathering dust’ as it has still not commenced.

The organisation is also calling for related legislation to support older people who find themselves in circumstances they are unhappy with.

Rosie is one older person who agreed initially to enter a nursing home on the advice of her family. The decision followed a fall in her home.

While in the nursing home, Rosie became increasingly unhappy.

She found it difficult to keep in contact with her friends, her family rarely visited, and she felt she had lost her independence.

She spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about her experiences, explaining that she had spoken to her daughters about wanting to go home.

"They said 'there's no way - you're not going home for a while'" she said. After weeks of waiting, she was told she was not going home at all as there was nobody there to look after her.

"I thought to myself, 'what do you mean look after me? I'm quite capable of looking after myself - how did I do before I came in here?'

"Eventually I thought to myself I'm definitely going to go home."

Rosie packed her suitcase - although realised she would have to come back to get the things she could not carry. After telling nurses about her plans, they told her she needed to get a family member to sign her out.

"They actually locked the door and they would not let me out. I couldn't do a thing," she recalled.

After a few months, she was advised that she could discharge herself. It led to a tense meeting with her family & one of her nurses, but she insisted that she was planning to leave. And so she did - ultimately returning to her own house.

"I'm getting on absolutely fabulous, the same as I did before I went in," she explained. "My son, thank God, had a spring clean of the house done before I came [...] It was beautiful and clean and everything is perfect."

She had some advice to anybody else who might find themselves feeling trapped in a nursing home.

"They shouldn't be there," she argued. "They should get in touch with somebody in authority first of all, and see what their accommodation would be at home.

"Now I have a home help coming in, and she comes in three days a week. For anybody who is independent, and can get their own food, get up in the morning, get their breakfast - that's all you need."

She is also back spending time with her friends at her local bridge club. "Please God I'm going on holidays in the summer," she added.

If you want more information on Sage, you can contact them on 1850-719-400.