The few times that either of my parents have been in the hospital, it struck me that there were so many people there alone – with no one to advocate for them. Experience quickly taught me just how critical it is to have someone to bridge that gap and to look out for the patient’s best interests, especially in the case of seniors.
Yesterday, I was once again reminded of how important it is to stay on top of things. I got a call from Eason House in the morning stating that the neurologist had faxed orders to dc Mom’s Aricept.
I.was.livid. A week ago, I told the doc that I didn’t want any further med changes without my prior consent. At the time, he had made two rather significant changes, and I wanted to let things alone and allow some time to see how she would do. I have the utmost respect for her neurologist; he’s one of the best in the city as far as ALZ and dementia go, BUT… there have been too many med changes made in succession without a chance to see what is working and what isn’t.
So, a week later, without my consent, he faxes orders to dc the Aricept. WTF?!?
After a call to office, a call to the pharmacy, and a call from the pharmacy to the doc, the orders were cancelled. But what if the folks from Eason House weren’t my second set of eyes and ears? What if they had not let me know what was going on?
I really cannot stress enough how important it is to stay actively involved in long term care. Insert yourself into whatever the situation may be to ensure that you understand (and agree with) the treatment protocol. Science is a wonderful thing, and thank God for medical professionals, but you must not be intimidated by titles. The fact is, sometimes YOU know better than anyone else what is best for your loved one, and there are times when you have to stand your ground, even if it means overruling the experts.
I have found this to be so true, as my mother-in-law has Alzheimers, if we did not ask questions and pursue the answers the medical professionals would make changes and order testing, and if you do question them some of them are so put out that you would dare to question them. The facility in which she lives felt she needed a colonoscopy and wanted us to take her to a gastroenterologist. To appease them and make sure that we had all the information we needed to make the best decision for her we went to the appt. All this really accomplished was upsetting and confusing her and frustrating us. When we decided that a colonoscopy and the prep and procedure would be just too much for her the gastro told us that we were done as that was not his recommendation. Always make sure to stand your ground ask questions, get answers as you are the best person to make the decision for your loved one with Alzheimers, even though they are some of the hardest decisions you will ever make. Stay strong and know that you are doing what is best for your mom.