Monday, September 29, 2014

Chronic illnesses and the ER; family expectations

  • Gray suffered from Parkinson’s disease, which meant he had frequent falls. That and other chronic conditions sent him to hospital by ambulance four or five times, said Sholzberg-Gray, where he had to wait in the emergency department on a stretcher until a bed became available.
Yes, it was a sad situation.  Do frail seniors deserve to NOT wait in an ER for a bed?
Why, if a patient has an illness with a predictable disease trajectory, would such a patient expect a bed, especially if they are receiving home care?
Should we have enough open beds on hand, specifically for seniors? I think not.

If you have had a fall, and need an X-ray, the ER is the place to be.
The late Herb Gray had Parkinson's Disease and he was 82 years old. His widow claims that healthcare isn't serving its senior citizens well.

I would wonder at this conclusion. I have a lot of frail clients. Many are unable to afford more home support. Many complain about the lack of support, yet there is only so much money in budgets to go around. If you are able to pay for home support, the family robs the community of care providers who might otherwise be employed elsewhere. We are short nurses and home care support workers.

But who is to blame?
  • The doctors do not understand. 
  • Home support rounds off to about 3 times per week, depending upon the disease.
  • The families fail to understand what it is that the ER can do for them.
 One client of mine, with a chronic disease, was taken to the ER when he experienced agitation. Surely this kind of thing is predictable? Why aren't the nurses preparing the families? Why aren't physicians able to provide better support?

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