Category Archives: hospital

Dad’s Heart Attack Hospitalization

Last time I wrote about dad’s heart attack which occurred almost immediately after I left home for a winter vacation. Dad was admitted into the hospital because he had a second heart attack while in the emergency room. Dad’s nurse … Continue reading

Posted in Caregiving, death and dying, Elder Care, Eldercare, Hospice, hospital, nursing home | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Dad’s Heart Attack

Dad’s Heart Attack The last time I wrote that dad had just had a heart attack. In this post, I will tell about the events at that time. I had arranged for some companions to visit dad 4 days a … Continue reading

Posted in Caregiving, Companion, death and dying, Elder Care, Eldercare, Health Care, Hospice, hospital | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Heart Attack

Sorry I haven’t written lately.  Dad had a heart attack and ended up in the hospital.  I stayed with him every day in the hospital.  Now he is an inpatient hospice facility, and again I am spending most of every … Continue reading

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A Frail Independent Mentally Alert 94-Year Old Woman – Who Decides Where She Should Live?

My 94-year-old neighbor, Casey. is one of the most active people I know.  She is up and in her garden early in the morning before I am even out of bed.  She belongs to 4 bridge groups and plays many … Continue reading

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Mom, Line Dancing and Memories

Mom always loved to sing as she worked around the house.  Whether she was cooking or cleaning, she would also be singing or humming a song.  She really didn’t have any musical talent.  She wasn’t always even singing in tune, … Continue reading

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The Hospital Maze – Family Physician, Hospitalist and Specialists

Mom’s recovery was complicated by many factors. She was originally expected to be discharged within a week, but then required a second surgery, and had multiple unexpected problems. Soon she was followed by a family physician, 2 surgical groups, a physical therapist, a nephrologist, a urologist, a cardiologist, an oncologist, and a pulmonologist who was also the hospitalist for the intensive care unit. I had a hard time getting information about mom’s condition and prognosis until I learned to work with this maze of physicians. This lack of effective communication between myself as mom’s health care surrogate and the physicians left me with a lasting sense of failure as I was unable to prepare dad for mom’s impending death. Continue reading

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Informed Consent Decisions in the Hospital — How to Know When to Say “NO”.

Starting with the very first day I was there, doctors were asking me to sign “informed consent” forms for various procedures. Each form explained the risks and benefits, but it was hard for me to take it all in – in context with mom’s current condition and prognosis. For one thing, I had no clear idea of either her condition or her prognosis and couldn’t get the doctors to spell it out for me. How could I give “informed consent” when I wasn’t really “informed” about the implications of the procedure?

I felt like there wasn’t enough focus on mom’s quality of life and her prognosis. If there were little likelihood of her recovery, we would make different decisions. We would opt for less invasive treatment and more “comfort care”. My problem was that I didn’t know where to draw the line when the doctor asked for “consent”… Continue reading

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In the hospital – The First Focus was on Rehab.

At first I expected mom would be discharged soon, relearn to walk and go back to her Assisted Living Facility with dad, so I chose the first older rehab facility. Later, when mom’s condition worsened and it looked like she would have multiple health problems even after discharge, I changed my preference to the 2nd, more modern facility.

Mom’s condition continued to worsen and I spent most of each day trying to see the various doctors and respond to the crisis of the day. One day one of the nurses said to me: “Honey, you’re never going to be able to bring your mother home. The best you can hope for is to get her to the rehab center.” Continue reading

Posted in Assisted Living Facility, death and dying, Elder Care, Eldercare, Family, Health Care, hospital, rehabilitation center | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Phone Call I had been Dreading Came that Night

Because of her dementia and dad’s Alzheimer’s, neither remembered by the next day that she had even fallen. Dad didn’t understand why mom wasn’t in the room with him. Mom wasn’t sure why she was in the hospital. The x-rays showed she had a fractured hip and would need surgery.

I told her they wanted to operate on her broken hip. She said OK. I told her she needed to understand that this was a serious operation and that at age 90 she could die from the surgery. She said: “I’m 90 years old. What do you expect”? Tears started to run down my face as I said :”OK, mom. I will tell the surgeon it is OK to operate.” Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Dementia, Elder Care, Eldercare, hospital | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Looking Back; Looking Forward. Part 1

Dad has been living in assisted living facilities since mom passed away over a year ago. At first he stayed in the unit he shared with mom. I temporarily stayed nearby so I could be sure he was all right … Continue reading

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Caregiving, Eldercare, hospital, nursing home | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments