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I'm caring for a beloved elder relative to keep her out of a nursing home. I called a visiting nurse agency to line up help and was told they wouldn't come out because she hadn't seen her doctor in ninety days. I explained that she's been too ill to leave the house and they just don't care. I grew up in the era of house calls and this kind of indifference makes me ill. There should be less red tape in senior care. Is this common or is it just my part of the world❓

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Sadly, it's different in different states. Some states have amazing senior care (Minnesota is one). Others are horrible (too many to mention). Most are in-between.

A call to your Area Agency on Aging may help. Also, the new federal site aging.gov leads you directly to your state services. Get busy with those local links and see if you can find help.

I agree that these people aren't trying to be difficult. They have to follow the rules to remain legal.

We'd love to hear from you about how this goes.
Carol
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One other suggestion, Elizabeth, and please don't think I'm being nasty. I've found that they key to working with the systems that are in place to help the elderly (and remember that the regulations are there due to past abuses), is not to personalize rejection and "no" when you hear it.

If you call and ask, "I need nursing services for my elder" and you are asked "has she seen her doctor in the last 90 days?", ask them sweetly for a "work around". "We can get her out of the house due to her dementia. Do you have a process where we could get a doctor to come to us? What do you think I should do?". Remember that the person answering the phone is a clerk and not a nurse. Ask for a nurse supervisor to call you back if you run into roadblocks.
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Unfortunately we can't order up healthcare like we would a pizza. I don't think it's so much indifference as it is policy--red tape. If your elderly relative is too ill to leave the house I suggest you call a hospice provider. Some people say a Dr. needs to order hospice but that's not been my experience. It's worth a try and with hospice you'll get a visiting nurse, aides, and access to healthcare via the nurse.
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I believe it's probably a state regulation. Call your local Area Agency on Aging and ask their help. Nursing care is ordered by an MD.
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I think Babalou has the answer here. Nursing care is ordered by the doctor. Call that service back and ask for the name of a doctor who makes house calls for home bound people. They're available. They're paid for by Medicare. And have nothing to do with hospice care.

You say you grew up in an era of house calls. Nurses never made house calls. There is plenty of medical help available in one's home. Get crackin'.
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I like Babalou's answer. But allow me to add...Before we pick up the phone to speak with any health care organization, we must remember, we are no longer dealing with the same healthcare system and dedicated staff that existed years ago. Today, it's all about them "covering their asses" then "making money" then "taking care of" our loved ones. This is the system we must find a way to work with. Most of the staff is overworked, underpaid, and recite only what is displayed on their computer screen. We must realize that this as our new reality. So, take an Advil- or painkiller of your choice-, be confident in your quest, then proceed to make that call and be as calm and polite as you can possibly be. God Bless you and stay strong.
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The comments mentioning how healthcare has changed over the years have made a true statement. Over-burdened healthcare system, CYA questions, and protocols to follow. This is to hold off lawsuits and hold on to one's job.

I'm not in the healthcare system, so I'm not advocating for them. I've just had to make phone calls and inquiries for decades and I do notice the difference. HIPPA rules, red-tape, and handling of elder situations as if they were all "cookie-cutter alike" are current problems for caregiving. There are some good ideas in the comments here. Good luck.
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A physicians written order must be obtained before any home health care can be provided.
This can be obtained over the phone & the physician can order a R.N.into the home to see the patient & make further assessments. WE do this all the time.
Please remember that the physician is employed by YOU & no magic wand is required....Persistence is required, I am sorry to say...physicians do not go see patients in the home anymore....Sad as it may be. R.N.'s who are qualified do this home health care.
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I think due to the "abuse" of people suing now-a-days, all agencies are leary on doing certain things. We have a doctor in our area that will visit a person at home BUT only if there is no type of transportation to get them to the doctor and they are seriously bad off. It takes time for doctors now to go visiting people at home, till you figure in the distance they have to travel, the gas it costs them, etc I can understand. And its not like way back when there weren't as many patients as what they see now. Call the Office of Aging to start with, they can get someone lined up to come see your loved one and they can give you some guidance on how to get someone to come to the house, etc. And like someone said, the receptionist is not a nurse, they just answer phones and yes; not all of them are good, they are just there to do their job and get paid. Sometimes things get lost in the translation of what you need so yes ask for a nurse or nurse assistant.
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llama lover, that is a lot of BS. Part of being a professional in the medical field is having some empathy.

There are people who go into nursing for example because their only concern is they think it is a "recession proof" job, that's not a good reason.

It's like someone going into teaching who doesn't like kids.
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