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That does not seem right to me. I have never heard of having to have someone with a patient in a hospital around the clock.

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you don;t pay for the sitter,, your insurance or the hospital should
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Wow, my SIL was two weeks ago and they used restraints. She had previously ripped out a central line so they had no choice..they've used restraints these last 3 months...when she's altered with ammonia levels too high, there's no choice...she broke the telemetry monitor bashing it against the bed rails. At home I use the rails and contour the hospital bed at night so she won't kill herself before I can get to her. When her ammonia levels are normal rails are down. She never remembers these episodes...she's too out of it...at hospital she would kick and try to bite people but they never put restraints until she tried to hurt herself.
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If they are ripping out the leads and lines you either stay with them or you pay for an aide to stay with them. Or you medicate them a LOT. Restraints and rails are no longer used, they are" inhumane". Even medicating them is now frowned on as being abusive. I feel bad for the nurses.
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I had a similar experience to Hans'. Several years ago, before my mom was dxed with dementia, she was hospitalized for extremely high bp with no apparent reason. Because she was demonstrating intermittent seizure - like symptoms, he ordered a three day eeg. Mom became delusional, tried to escape. The posted an aide in her room 24/7 so that she wouldn't escape, hurt herself or rip off the leads.
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When my SIL was in county hospital, they had 2:1 sitters, so one was outside her and another persons room 24/7. She was alterd so they watched her round the clock, helped her to bed and at times she had to be restrained for her own safety
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If you can't be there and she needs a sitter, the hospital can provide one. I know ours does...
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Sharon, I'm curious: Why does this bother you?

When my MIL was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, my husband and I split the duty to be with her at the hospital 24/7. She wanted him there to run interference with the medical staff, especially doctors, and she wanted me at night for comfort and companionship. She told me that one of her first nights in the hospital she woke up in horrible pain at 3 AM. She rang for the nurse, and they responded via intercom, but nobody ever came to her room. She laid there in pain for hours, calling for a nurse who never came. The next day she asked me if I would please come and be with her at night. She said that was when she was alone, and felt afraid. She also had a lot of pain at night, and wanted me there to get the nurse if she needed one.

My BIL and his wife were very angry that we were with Mom 24/7 (although they were welcome to be there too, they just didn't want to.) They kept telling me to go back home (1,000 miles away) and leave Mom alone because the nurses would take care of her.

Toward the end when we took Mom to her home with hospice help, my hubby and I continued the 24/7 routine; him days, me nights. The medical staff at the hospital said they knew we wouldn't have any trouble, because they had watched us with her and knew we could handle it. Not so much my BIL and his wife... I was so grateful to have had that time with Mom when she finally passed. It was hard, but it was priceless.
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She gets confused, but has not been officially diagnosed with dementia. She isn't trying to get up and leave or anything like that. She's far too weak for that. I just have so many ups and downs and generally feel quite alone and overwhelmed.
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CheshireCat, does your mother need 24 hour observation? Does she have dementia? The hospital can provide someone to observe her, at a cost, of course. Do not feel guilty that you cannot provide this.
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My mother is in the hospital now and I am the only one in town. I have a full time, demanding job and a 4 year old at home. It's completely impossible to be there 24/7. I just can't imagine being able to do that.
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Just a reminder! Don't let someone with dementia go in an ambulance alone either! The EMT will be asking questions and preforming emergency medical procedures which will be frightening and confusing for the dementia patient..
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I guess we were lucky. Mom was on 24/7 supervision in the hospital recently, and they put her with another lady on 24/7 watch, in the neuro unit. One health aid could sit in there with both of them at the same time. She also had bed rails to keep her in the bed.
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If you are keeping watch on a patient at a hospital (highly recommended) it's a good idea to keep a log at bedside. This should include who is keeping watch, the date and hours the watcher is there, and anything they observe....like medications administered (what and when), is the hospital staff washing their hands
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It is about HOSPITAL stays, for one thing. Rehab and care centers are another matter.
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So this thread is only regarding dementia patients? If so then I did misunderstand.
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It's either that or restraints, so sorry you have to do this.
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Wow I must live in another world because absolutely no one in my Dads rehab has family stay over night. The place is well staffed and the people are very attentive. The first rehab, he was in, was a bit less attentive but he still got great care, same for the hospital. My sister is a nurse practitioner and she monitors all of his medical issues. She is very aggressive when it comes to his care but never once has she thought it important that someone be with him in the facility 24/7. Maybe we just have better medical institutions in my state?

Our family is all taking turns visiting each day and keeping on top of Dads progress and treatment. He is getting better and I am confident he is in good hands.

Besides where would we sleep? His wheelchair?... the folding chairs in the room? He has two room mates. I can't imagine trying to fit a family member for each of them in his small room.

Years ago I did stay overnight in a hospital with my son, when he was three years old, but that was because he was too little to be alone in a strange place not because I worried about his care. Maybe I'm not understanding something here?
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The doc must know your MIL and that she won't stay put. I'd defer to his knowledge of her personality. When my daughter was in the hospital, I spent nights and others came during the day. There were all sorts of little comfort things that were needed, plus someone was always there when docs came in. It helps to have a second set of ears and also someone to ask questions that the patient may not think of. We always have a family member there when they do discharge instructions for our parents, so we know med changes etc.
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Thanks for your comments all. My mother in law does not have dementia. She had a heart monitor put in. That is why I found it odd that the hospital was asking for 24 hour care.
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hugedoof where are you? Maybe I will move there. My mom's recent stay she pulled out IVs twice and the suction tube to stomach three times. She was on bed alarm, but that will not stop her from pulling tubes out. I was there for 12 or 14 hours a day. Brought in sitter one night until she went to sleep. Hospitals are just not staffed or trained to deal with those with dementia.
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Thanks all, that helps
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I don't leave anyone alone in the hospital, no matter their age. Just stepping out for coffee can be risky. I remember taking my son into the ER, for a couple of stitches and a nurse came in and said "OK. Let's irrigate this ear." Um, no. "Get out." :)
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Used to be, a nurse had time to get to know their patient one on one..but alas, the computer age took over and so much documentation has to be completed on each patient that they don't have the time to spend with each patient. Sad but true. So if a patient is a "falls risk" the hospital is liable because so many people are sue happy. Nursing isn't what it used to be anymore at all....so family better be with a patient that is elderly or that doesn't understand because family knows the patient more than the staff does. If there are any changes, family will pick up on it first.
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Sharon, it shouldn't be necessary - but...

In your in-laws' position, I'd probably try to do the same, on the grounds that if you want to be sure your relative is getting the round-the-clock caregiving (as opposed to skilled nursing) attention she needs, and you're not prepared to risk it, you'd better do it yourself.

I suppose many people are happy to do this on a voluntary basis for their own family members, so the 'system' factors that into the staffing equation. The question it leaves in my mind is: what happens to vulnerable, ill, elderly people who haven't got family? Do they get left to sink or swim?

Well, yes, they do. But since they haven't got family volunteers to care for them, they haven't got family agitators to get litigious either.
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Our whole family took turns 24/7 when Mother was hospitalized. I left that out earlier. You never know when a doctor will show up. There are just too many variables when an elderly person is hospitalized to ever leave them alone IMHO.
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Correction to above: All this aside, our town must have been at a superb as they provided a nurse to sit/monitor her 24/7 during her stay.

Should be: All this aside, our town must have a superb hospital and staff as they provided a nurse to sit/monitor her 24/7 during her stay.
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Family is the only advocate a patient has. Thank God I was able to be with my Dad full time because we didn't know he was dying. I was with him and that made me feel somewhat better to know he wasn't alone.
My Mom was in there and had a stroke during her stay. She was confused from the dementia and stroke and the doctor wrote in his orders to get a hospital sitter there at night because he knew I was worn out from losing Dad...then immediately taking over full time care of Mom.
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My mother, who has dementia, and was suffering a 'superimposed delirium' during her last hospital stay, needed a 24 hour watch. My mother was convinced that she was "in a dumpster with oriental homeless people who were trying to hold her down"; and that people were "walking about with cash registers."

If you step back and look at this from a "sane" point of few, the nursing staff told me my mother had become combative and threatening; she (mother) had called 911 from her hospital bed as her reasoning and judgement was severely impaired. The nurse on duty was of oriental descent, who was attempting to get her safely back into her bed, and had requested security staff and the attending police officer to assist her. This occured in the cardiac telemetry unit. The nurses push cardiac telemetry monitors about that sit on a rolling carts. As you can see, my mother's processing is declining and her brain used things from her long term memory that might have been "familiar" to her when it was working correctly. As you can see, her brain is not processing correctly.

All this aside, our town must have been at a superb as they provided a nurse to sit/monitor her 24/7 during her stay.

Indeed, I'm glad they offered the 24/7 watch. And I can easily see why.
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My family did 24 watch as well.
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It's a shame that 24-hour care falls to the family but hospitals don't have the staff to provide 24-hour care. When I worked in a hospital we would try to get sitters from the float pool but more often than not no one was available so the family had to do it.
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