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My grandmother has had major joint and pain issues lately and has begun seeing a doctor who had just started to run tests to see what might be at the root of the problem. My grandmother gets around with a walker and lives with my grandfather who is also using a walker. Both are unable to help if the other one falls.


This morning when I arrived at their apartment to take them to this particular doctor, I was met by my grandfather telling me she had fallen and he couldn't get her up. We finally managed to get her up and seated, but she was in so much pain she couldn't walk and we had to call an ambulance. After several hours in the ER, she is still in pain and cannot walk and since they don't see any breaks, they want to discharge her. Her primary doctor (with the same hospital) just informed us that he does not have admitting privileges. What should the next step be? Can they discharge someone who would not be safe? I'm desperately trying to find options.

Was she admitted or just in the ER. Or maybe under observation?

The key, sadly, might be to leave her in the ER, as awful as that sounds.
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We did. They completely ignored us and have discharged her. It was a very non-negotiable "You are leaving now" with absolutely no plan or answer. I will be staying with them overnight and my mother will be there during the days. Neither one of us would be able to pick her up if she falls, but we will be there to try and prevent it and to call for help if needed. The soonest her doctor could get her an appointment is Monday afternoon. She now has pain meds which should help some with the pain, but probably make her more unsteady. I'm so frustrated.
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againx100 Jan 25, 2019
Poor grandma. Lucky that you and your mom can handle her care until you get her to the doctor on Monday. It seems like a looong way away but I hope you all get through it without any more mishaps (falls). Maybe if/as the pain diminishes, she'll become more mobile? Unless there is a real problem that the ER missed. I hope not, for everyone's sake.
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I just recently had a similar experience with my mom. You don’t mention how old she is, but I will assume she is of advanced age. Did the hospital do X-ray’s of her back? Compression fractures are common in elderly women due to osteoporosis. They are extremely painful and seriously limit mobility. The hospital can admit her under observation status until her pain is managed and she is at least somewhat mobile. Do not allow her to be released in an unsafe environment. But beware...if she is on MEDICARE and does not have a three day in house as an admitted patient a SNF will be self pay.
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Ash1984 Jan 25, 2019
They did all the scans and X-rays and say nothing is broken. She does have osteoporosis and severe arthritis in almost all of her joints. She is 74. There was no stopping the hospital from discharging her. After insisting that they keep her several times due to her safety, they basically came in and said "You're leaving" and my grandparents aren't the type to argue with a doctor. I am, but she's now at home with pain meds and moving as little as possible. We will have to figure out scheduling, but one of us will be staying with them for now. The hospital she went to (the closest) is not one I would ever choose to go to. I'm not surprised they pulled this, but I am angry, frustrated, and a little scared about planning for the future. We've already been discussing this, but this morning's fall sped things up much faster. Thank you for the advice. Especially the Medicare. I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up in the ER again before she sees her doctor on Monday and I want to be as educated as possible on my options.
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Your need to insist that she be admitted to discover why she cant ambulate. Emphasize that this is not a safe discharge and that there is no one who can adequately care for her at home. Try to speak to a social worker.
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