Scenario 5: Marian

Marian is supported to live independently at home. Although she is married, her husband is unable to support her as he has had a number of heart failures. Marian is a larger woman and spends a great deal of her time in bed. Indeed she very rarely leaves the house, not least because the local authority has been unable to provide a properly fitted wheelchair.

It has now been four weeks since Marian had a shower or a bath. The care at home organisation had a member of staff, Donna, who had been previously helping Marian to bathe in the shower, but a few weeks ago Donna pulled a muscle in her back trying to manoeuvre Marian out of the shower. After this the care at home organisation decided, in conjunction with the local authority which funded her care, that Marian should be provided with a strip wash so that staff do not have to lift her.

As time has gone by both Marian and her husband have grown very upset at this process, especially because warmer weather has been causing her to perspire a lot more than usual. They have both become increasingly depressed and withdrawn because, despite their pleas, the care at home organisation has said that it has a duty to support their staff and cannot require them to engage in a work practice which could damage their health