Great article. As a Certified Dietary Manager, I see this happen every single day. The kids are just torn up about placing a parent in a nursing home. They have already looked at every option. As professionals, we are there to take care of your parents. We come to love them as much as our own families — they are part of our families now too. I've even had cooks who would check on residents to make sure they ate something. It's people who really care who go above and beyond the pale. Health care workers are just that.I feel sorry for the guy who doesn't want any part of taking care of his parents when they need him the most. I'm looking at taking my mom in within about 10 years. She's already showing signs of Alzheimers (which her mother had). When her husband dies, it's going to progress. Now she has a reason to hang on. He's not well though and refuses to move to Colorado. She'll be right down the street where I got my start as a health care professional and I'll be there daily. I'd like to get her an apartment though until she really needs the 24/7 attention. She also lost out on inheritence. She and her older sister took care of their mother and father for years — even moving in with them. Younger sister and brother took everything. It was very ugly. They might have gotten the money but they lost their family.Thanks for the very emotional writing. Nursing homes are not a bad thing. We do what we do because we love the people we take care of. — Sharon in Colorado Abigail S. Adams wrote:
Perhaps not all elderly living institutions are bad, but my family's experience was disasterous. After my mother broke her hip, the rehab center refused to take into account any of her disabilites but the hip and forced her to do exercises that caused her so much pain she woke up one night begging me to cut off her legs (basically, they had tortured her into delirium). They offered her Tylenol for this pain. The staff was so incompetent we were terrified to leave her there alone for more than an hour — they kept trying to give her medications she wasn't supposed to have, and were consistantly late with the medications she needed to keep her alive. And this was the most highly-recommended (and expensive!) center in our metropolitan area!My experience with *any* so-called "health" institution is that when you enter it, you might as well be in Gitmo — you are forced to sign away all your basic rights, even to being able to go to the bathroom when you need to (buzzers not answered in time) and eating and sleeping when you want to. (Take a look at the Geneva Conventions, and see how many of these basic rights are denied to hospital patients!)And when Mother fell one too many times, and we admitted her to our local hospital for "observation" — the staff decided she was in "terminal dementia" (ie, her behavioral problems were caused by her being in the early stages of death) and used the "no heroic measures" clause in her living well to euthanize her. They called it "terminal sedation without hydration" but it was murder, plain and simple. Two years and 4 counselors later, I am still struggling with such PTSD ("guilt" doesn't cover it) that I am about to lose my job. Maybe if I check myself into that same hospital they will "terminally sedate" me as well, and eliminate one more member of the "surplus population."Welcome to the nightmare, America — there is no good way to handle this issue, and it's only going to get worse.