lmw124 Asked January 2010

How can I switch my mother's doctor in the nursing home?


How do I go about switching doctors for my mom if she is in a nursing home, she does not like him, accuses him of being negligent, and I am concerned about him also, but he is the only doctor who works with the nursing home. She had an excellent doctor that she really liked before we had to move to North Dakota.

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lmw124 Jan 2010
I am not sure at all about the doctor my mom has in the nursing home. At first I thought he was competent, but this latest error has me really concerned. My mom had been taking thryoid medication before she entered the nursing home, but it was not on her med list and she went almost five months without it. A couple of days ago they order blood work for the first time since she has been in the nursing home, of course her thyroid was very low, and then the doctor realizes, oh yeah, her thyroid med should have been on her med list. I cannot understand how a trained professional can be so stupid, he knew she had had part of her thyroid taken out and had been meds for 20 years. I just hope that there will not be any long term damage from this, I have heard that not having enough thryoid can cause CHF to get worse, which she already has. I wondered why she was so tired lately and sleeping a lot of the time. Now that I find out why I am really angry. I told my sister about it, she is a doctor, and she just blows it off, like doctors make mistakes. Something is terribly wrong with our medical care system if doctors are going around protecting each other. Anyway, we live in a small town and he is the only doctor working through the nursing home and he is the only MD in town, so I can't do anything about it myself, just register a complaint. And meanwhile, I shouldn't have to be the one to do this, but remind the nurses about all her meds so that nothing gets forgotten or left out. They are all trained professionals and I shouldn't have to deal with this. We pay enough money to the nursing home so I should expect that she would get quality care.
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helpingdad Jan 2010
State regulations allow you to chose your doctor, however the physician you choose has to be willing to make regular visits to see her, accept phone calls to update orders, and provide his credentials to the facilities administration. I would start with the Director of Nursing and find out what physicians in the area are willing to accept new patients or you may have to look for a different facillity. God Bless
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Aleeta Jan 2010
Some doctors are not willing to keep patients who are placed in nursing homes. My relative's doctor treated her principally through contact with the DON, usually prompted by my calls to him and his nurse. He did make several visits to see her in the NH when she was very ill, so I know they can do that if they wish to!
The facility should be able to supply a list of other physicians you could try. Being stuck with only one choice seems odd.

Can your mother travel well enough to get out and go to a doctor's office? Ask around to your friends & acquaintances, AND other relatives visiting the nursing home, for their recommendations. There may be a listing in the phone book for geriatric physicians. Or try calling the local or county medical association. You may even be able to get names from doctors who turn your mom down as a patient. Doesn't hurt to ask, ask, ask.

Is your mother a candidate for hospice?
Through their services, she might possibly get more attention.

You might consider simply moving your mom to a different home.
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hapfra Jan 2010
The director of Nursing at the facility may be able to help you on this...Or she or he may tell you to find one on your own. Beware of all the red tape that goes on at a NH, the behind the scenes rules and regs.

I was in a similar situation-when my Mom was in a NH, and can understand how you feel.

Good luck in finding a resolution.

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195Austin Jan 2010
You could check to see if the nursing home has a house docter it is very unusual to have only one docter available it might not be her own docter from before going to the nursing home but I would check to see if another is available -you could ask the socail worker whebever my husband was in rehab we had a list to choose from to be his docter while he was there you might have to change nursing homes or let the social worker know about your concerns-if he works for the nursing home he may very well change how he approches the pt. and be willing to talk things over and solve the problems.
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