Scenario 4: Malcolm

Suilven Care is a home care organisation which considers itself to be at the cutting edge of good care and the use of new innovative technology to support individuals to live independently at home.

Recently Suilven introduced a new system. They call it the Peace of Mind support. This involves the use of small electronic tags which those who experience mild dementia can have attached to their belts or sewn into their clothes. If the individual goes missing they can be tracked by means of a satellite system and supported to return home. The system has the support of the local authority.

Suilven’s clients were asked to take part in the project. As part of this they had to agree to stay in their own home between 10.00pm and 9.00a

Malcolm is a man in his 70s who frequently forgets to wear either the belt or the hat where the tags have been attached. His daughter, who has guardianship for Malcolm, is keen for the service to continue in order to allow Malcolm to live independently in his own home despite Malcolm’s reluctance to be tagged. Over time the care provider organisation has became more and more frustrated with Malcolm as he is frequently found outside and apparently lost in the neighborhood during the day without his tag. On Christmas Eve Malcolm is wearing his tagged hat and the alarm is raised when he is found out late at night. Malcolm is furious to be escorted home, as he is wants to attend midnight mass at the local church.

Suilven have raised the possibility that Malcolm may need full-time residential care. Malcolm continually protests that he doesn’t want to be made to feel as if he is a prisoner in his own home.