A vulnerable 70-year-old man was hospitalised after being found stuck in his bathtub, possibly for a number of days, the high court has heard in intended wardship proceedings.
The man, who has various medical and psychiatric conditions, lived alone before being hospitalised in May following an unwitnessed fall in his bathroom.
His only relative, a niece, resides abroad.
In a medical report opened to the court, a psychiatrist at the hospital described the man’s experience of hallucinations and other psychiatric disturbances.
The professional believed the man may also have autism spectrum disorder and is incapable of weighing the risks and benefits of taking recommended medication.
He revealed to the doctor in May that he was in a serious road incident in which he allegedly struck a pedestrian with his vehicle. He said his car was confiscated but he subsequently purchased another vehicle and continued to drive at that point, the doctor said, adding that the man had no understanding of the legal requirements of the situation.
He had some months earlier been a hospital inpatient after presenting with dehydration, possibly due to poor self-care. Last year, he presented to hospital dehydrated with acute kidney injury requiring dialysis.
Previously, he lived in a nursing home but left because funding for his placement ran out and he could not pay for the service himself, the court heard.
He was transferred from the hospital to another Health Service Executive facility in October.
Another doctor believes the man lacks the insight and capacity to make decisions about his long-term residential and support needs, the court heard.
Mr Justice Mark Heslin in recent days directed that the court’s medical visitor should assess the man. He also appointed a Guardian ad Litem to protect the man’s interest in the wardship application process.
He was satisfied the court’s wardship jurisdiction was engaged.