Speech & Language Therapy Group:
Recalling a post I wrote on the above subject on the 29th April, I was hoping to have something positive to write about it by now. However four months have passed and I regret to say, I am very disappointed on the outcome of this much needed therapy, due to waiting times and the inevitable cancellations, due to staff shortage and staff sickness.
In April, my dad had been assessed by the Speech & Language Therapy Team, and they had initially carried out some one-to-one therapy sessions with him at home, although the sessions were three weeks apart, and he was left a programme of tasks to do in his own time (which did need prompting, due to dads little memory lapses) they at least started to do some initial work with him.
Once the one-to one work sessions had been completed, dad was told he would be attending his first Speech & Language Therapy Group in August. This would involve an initial assessment in week one, followed by a further three weeks attending the two hour therapy sessions each Friday throughout August. I was really happy for him to be starting on this programme, especially when I had read so many positive reports on the importance of therapy for people with Parkinson’s disease.
I took dad for his initial assessment, we met with the therapist who would be delivering the programme, she discussed the things dad would be expected to take part in, and he was happy and looking forward to the sessions.
The following week I dropped dad of at his session, and returned two hours later. It was nice to see him chatting to other people who had attended the therapy group, as I arrived to pick him up. During our journey home, I asked my dad what he had done, how he had interacted with the group, what had been interesting, what had he got out of it etc. . However to my dismay, dad said he had not really done anything, apparently the therapist who was supposed to be delivering the session was off sick, and the person who had stood in at short notice had just discussed the programme, and spent most of the session talking to the group.
Dad didn’t seem to have much input or interaction with the group, he didn’t seem to have any information to take away with him, or any programme of excercises to do prior to his next session, which was disappointing.
The following week as we looked forward to the next session, dad received a phone call informing him that the therapy group had been cancelled due to staff sickness, and there was nobody to stand in and take the group through the next session.
Having taken my dad on holiday with my family for a week, I made sure that we would return early on the Friday, so dad could atten his therapy group. Unfortunately when we arrived at the venue, there didn’t seem to be anybody waiting for the session, and when I asked the receptionist if the group was still going ahead I was informed that all she could tell me was the room was booked for the session, and that she had no other information. After waiting for 10/15 minutes, the receptionist decided to make a phone call to see if there had been a cancellation (which was very helpful of her) unfortunately it was then that we were informed the group had been cancelled!
I was informed that phone calls had been made prior to the cancellation, but unfortunately with us arriving straight from holiday we hadn’t had time to call home and check any messages. I was assured that the Speech & Language Team would be in touch with us, and apparently next group sessions would be in October?
When we returned home, I checked dads answer machine, but there were no messages, and we have yet to receive a phone call or a letter to inform us of any further appointments with the therapy group.
I can understand that staff sickness cannot be helped, I can also understand that staffing levels can be low at certain times in the year, such as peak summer holiday periods, but what I can’t understand is the lack of communication to the patient and the patients family.
Everything I have researched regarding Parkinson’s since my dad was diagnosed, points to the importance of therapy sessions, therapy groups, physiotherapy, excercise etc. . .as well as the importance of interacting with these groups as early as possible. And yet it’s almost a year since my dad was diagnosed, and he is still waiting to complete a group therapy session.
I do hope we have some communication soon 🤔
However, looking on the bright side of life.
We did have a lovely break away together in Wales, we were lucky to have beautiful sunshine 🌞 visited some lovely coastal areas, enjoyed the fresh air, and most important – Family time.
All of which I will recall in my next post. . .