Friday, October 4, 2013

When you leave the Emergency Room...

When you are discharged, it is easy to forget instructions. Home awaits. You've been
uncomfortable for hours.
  1. Make sure you understand instructions. 
  2. Make sure you have pain meds filled there.
  3. Have someone sit with you when you get the info, save the papers carefully.
  4. Repeat the instructions, especially if you are hard of hearing. 
  5. You need to know what to do and what not to do.

For seniors, who may have been admitted alone, delivered by a family member, a caregiver, or a retirement home or long-term care, it is important that someone be there upon discharge. To be discharged, in the middle of the night, without a phone call to family or caregivers, is criminal.

This story is not an aberration. A friend, 83, was in another town having medical treatment. His wife called the ambulance, and went alone, in housecoat and slippers, to hospital. They decided to make her leave the ER, sent her home in a taxi, where she did not have a key to her building, and forced her to get the superintendent to let her in.

Things worked out for her, but what happens if this person is a senior with dementia?
Truly, I believe hospital ERs are going to have to make a change. Despite their issues with funding, and wanting to keep numbers down, it would seem more important to provide supervision for patients whose families would have gone home, thinking a loved one was in good care.

Read: Hospitalization for seniors for more information regarding hospitalisation and discharge.

Demand a hospital discharge plan: do not let your loved one be discharged before you are ready. Use services locator for local supports (CCAC, private home care, day away programs, Community Home Support Volunteer offices.
Take a coat and shoes or boots.
There have been too many incidents of people leaving hospital unexpectedly.

Delta Hospital forces 90-year-old woman to take taxi in middle of the ... Justin McElroy-10 hours agoShare
A visually impaired 90-year-old woman says Delta Hospital forced her to leave the emergency room and take a taxi home in the middle of the night ... “The nurse said you're going home, you're discharged, and I said 'what?

Senior discharged into the night

Delta-Optimist-11 hours agoShare
A 90-year-old Tsawwassen woman was cold, frightened and still ...noting her bed would have stayed empty as the ER didn't appear busy.

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