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Case study: Margaret's story

Margaret was worried. Her Aunt Elsa had dementia and had been in a care home for two years. Margaret felt that Elsa wasn't being properly treated.

Her bedroom was dull and impersonal. There were few activities; life in the care home provided little stimulation. Although Margaret had complained to managers, things hadn't changed.

She contacted the Mental Welfare Commission. We were able to listen to her concerns and take them seriously.

We arranged to visit the care home and discussed the issues with the staff. We encouraged them to create personal activity plans for the people they care for.

We suggested that they ask people questions. What are your likes and dislikes? Do you have any hobbies? Do you like socialising in a group, or do you prefer to be on your own?

The next time we visited the care home, Margaret came to talk to us. She wanted us to know that things had changed. Elsa's life was much better now.

And there was a change in Margaret too. Since talking to us, she felt more confident. She knew her aunt's rights and she was comfortable raising her concerns with the management.