Home > Uncategorized > Warehousing the Elderly Part 3 moving on to the hospital

Warehousing the Elderly Part 3 moving on to the hospital

On March 25, two Resident Assistants at Winterberry Heights helped me to load my Mom into my car and bundle her up to take her to St Joseph Hospital Emergency Department.  I brought along the urine sample in case it could be used.   It was a relief to see WH in my rear view mirror.  My husband, son, and brother would spend a good part of the next three days moving my mothers belongings out of Winterberry Heights.  Also, later I picked up her medications which she had paid for.  When I got them home I found 3 full cards of bubble packed prescription medications that belonged to a different resident.  Big mistake, and a very careless mistake.  We returned them that day.

At St Joes I asked for help to get her out of the car and into the building.  Both of the nurses wore masks and I asked immediately if there was an outbreak of flu or anything else there, because I feared for my elderly mother.  I was assured that they just wear the masks as a precaution.  She was delivered to registration, where they could not find any of her old information in the computer because they entered a space between the two Cs in her name.  Because of that, she ended up with 2 separate medical records that had to be merged to one….at least I hope they did that eventually.

She was immediately taken to an ER exam room, where she was gently helped onto the stretcher.  Her triage nurse and her primary ER nurse were both men and both very professional and skilled.  She got blood work, IVs inserted, straight catheterization, chest and left leg xray.  She has pneumonia in her Right lung.  That would certainly answer why she was feeling so weak and poorly most of the week.

Mum was admitted to the Hospital as an inpatient (as opposed to a Medicare Observation patient).  This was a relief because I was pretty certain she would need at least rehabilitation if not long term memory care. There is a trick with Medicare that they will not pay for rehab if the patient as not been admitted as an “inpatient” and been in the hospital for 3 midnights.   Her young foreign doctor was very kind and thorough.  I was pleased that they did not do a lot of expensive and unnecessary testing, and he considered Mum’s age and condition in all decisions.

She was moved to the 6th floor, where she spent 3 days.  She was cared for by RNs, CNAs and nursing students.  Each and every one of them were respectful, funny, engaging, kind and skilled.  They all work very hard.  This work is not for sissies.   I had no complaints about Mum’s care there except that she was left upright in her chair for far too long one afternoon.  She was extremely exhausted.  Also, she got a stage 2 pressure bedsore on her tailbone that we hope will heal and not get bigger or deeper.  The sore was first noticed later, on admission to Stillwater Healthcare.

On days 2 and 3, Mum perked up a bit.  She got a little testy and sassy. When I told her to be a “good girl” when I left one afternoon, she stuck her tongue out at me (this is a little ongoing joke between us).  Also when I was leaving another time, she asked me what the syringe full of saline on her over bed stand was.  I picked it up and said it was a SHOT and I  teased her that I was going to give her a SHOT.  She looked at me and began fiddling with her hands and fingers and finally with a lot of effort, she flipped me off!  That’s my mother and her wicked sense of humor.

OT, PT and Speech therapy all evaluated Mum at St Joes.  She was extremely weak ,but they gently helped and encouraged  her to walk with a walker, to the bathroom.  The speech therapist recommended soft solids and liquids for diet because of a swallowing test they did on her.  We do not want to risk another pneumonia from aspiration.

The Social worker and nurse case manager both worked hard to get Mum into Stillwater Healthcare which was the facility of my choice for her rehabilitation.  I have heard good things from family members who have had people cared for there, and it is literally 2 minutes from my home.  I am so exhausted by now that I need things to be a little more convenient.

A very kind gentleman with a wheelchair came for Mum, and took her to the wheelchair transport van. He transferred Mum to Stillwater Healthcare on March 28.  Next chapter……..

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
  1. April 9th, 2019 at 11:50 | #1

    This really angers me! So sorry you have to go through this! I worked in a couple of skilled nursing facilities over the years! They were “good” ones! We worked hard and even though there was never enough staff at any one time we had enough to care properly for all the residents. I can’t imagine only spending 5 min with each resident! Disgraceful!

  1. No trackbacks yet.