What can caregivers do to join together and have our politicians focus on healthcare for the elderly?
For almost three years I have been practically "living" at hospitals and nursing homes until I recently got my mother home with me. I have tons of documentation to fill a book over how our healthcare system is not there for our elderly loved ones. I have had positive and negative experiences. For starters, my first exposure to a nursing facility was tramatic. I slept in my mother's room for three months and took off work. It was horrible. More recently I discovered that an RN at a chronic care facility falsified records and lied about giving my mother her medications. I have seen healthcare workers not wear gloves and practice safe infection preventive measures. I have been to nursing homes that I would not place a dog. Insurance manages care in our country. We are told that our loved ones are ready for discharge often times prematurely. We then have minimal time to place them elsewhere. Don't get me started on inept discharge planning. My mother was discharged to my home with a trach and in need of oxygen. I took off work the day of her discharge. I asked the discharge planner could we please go over the plan that morning. She made it clear that this was the last step. So she quickly sat down with me right before my mother was taken to my car. I was not familiar with all of the questions I should have asked. So I get my mother to my home only to find out getting her oxygen was a big issue. No one properly trained me on trach care. I was give like five minutes of trach care training right before my mother left. I go to pick up her medications and two needed prior authorization. I could go on and on about this issue but I won't fill up this post. Suffice it to say someday I will make these issue known but in the meantime if we caregivers would together raise our voices to the highlest levels of govenment perhaps someone will hear us. Life is precious. We only get one. I have spent so much time documenting my mother's care and intervening with health care personnel that this is time I should be able to enjoy being with my mom. Much of my stress is attributed to having to try to move mountains to simply have my mom's needs met. After being ventilator dependent for two solid years, they discharge my mom on a trach and not one person helped me make sure oxygen was available in my home. She could have died had I not intervened and found a great internist. The home physicians group that the facility arranged for me was useless. All I am saying is the people on this forum love their family and we need to get together here and see what can be done so that others don't need to suffer. I wish I could do more to have my mother have a quality of life but I do my best. I am party of one. I will never forget the experiences this has taught me.