I have been thinking lately about discussions on here and how many caregivers are often sleep deprived, not eating well, not going to the doctor as often as they should to take care of themselves and how many have the stress of a horrible financial situation. After being hinted at (strongly) by a couple of people concerning my FIL and where he will go after rehab time is up (will it be our house, hint, hint and why not) that got me to thinking about how many people are mislead, guilted and outright lied to about caregiving and what it will entail.
I saw my mom go through this off and on for 15 years, so I already knew the sacrifice it takes but I have been thinking about the people out there who honestly had no clue what they were getting into.
I have told nurses and family members that my FIL needs a team of people to help him. That there is a reason nursing homes and hospitals do not let one nurse stay 24/7 and that people need to get some sleep, eat, bathe and have a mental/emotional time out. Needless to say, this is met with a half-hearted grunt.
I am really beginning to think that when elderly patients go into doctors visits, the doctor (or nurse collecting the info) needs to ask: who is taking care of you, do they have help, how often? If you are in charge of giving someone medication and you are sleepy, sick, etc. will you make a mistake? Considering 30% of caregivers die before those they are caregiving for, is it healthy for the caregivers? I would guess not.
I remember a gentleman I knew whose dad had jaw cancer. He was slightly upset because the family wanted to take care of his dad after his hospitalization but he had to go to a nursing home for recovery. The reason? Insurance would not pay for the additional required IV treatment if he did not.
I am wondering if in some of these extreme caregiving conditions, if it would be better off for the seniors and their caregivers if there was no option to stay at home. If seniors are told: "no, there is no running one person into the ground, affecting their health and finances. The only way for insurance to continue to pay your medications, treatments and office visits is if you are in a facility. If you cannot pay, you will be given the option of Medicaid."
I know there would be every civil rights group screaming something at the top of their lungs, lawsuits a plently, etc. but in most cases, wouldn't it be the safest thing to do for both parties involved? Your thoughts?