Friday, June 6, 2014

A New Phase

Having spent the last few weeks dealing with the health issues of an aging parent,  I have a new found
sympathy for people who try to negotiate a health care system they don't understand, a bureaucracy that seems overwhelming and medications whose names appear to be written in Swahili.  Having worked in health care for a long time gave me a distinct advantage that I wish everyone had, but doing many of these things 'long distance' will present continuing challenges.

A few things I learned:
Thank goodness we had an Advance Medical Directive all signed and sealed.  If you don't have one of these for your parents or other family members, do it NOW.   It is needed not only for end-of-life decisions, but to allow medical staff to share ANYTHING with you about the person's condition.
Make a copy of it and store in on your smart phone, computer, iPad, or whatever.  You won't be sorry.

There are a lot of heroic people working in long term care.  It is unglamorous and thankless.  We spoke with a nurse who was on a 16-hour shift.  We had many others go above and beyond to help us with appointments, transportation, etc., and take time with us when they had none to spare.

Just one appointment with a doctor who looks at you and LISTENS.. psychologically can make all the difference in the world.  It was a long wait, but it was worth it.

I have a feeling I'll be getting more insights over the next few months, but you know what? I think it will make me better at my job, and that's a good thing.

1 comment:

Pharmaciststeve said...

Eight years ago, we had driven our motor home out to the west coast - 2000+ miles from home.. to wait for the birth of our first grandkid.. a few days after arriving.. Mother In Law was in very serious motor accident... 2000+ miles away.. back home. We had previously convinced her to sign an advanced health care directive for my wife and myself.. You also need a financial power of attorney. (POA) Luckily I had scanned those forms down to my computer and after a few phone calls and sending a few emails with those forms attached.. and we were able to keep in touch with those who were taking care of her and I was able to pick up taking care of her financial transactions because of the POA. The other thing that you need to convince your aging parents to do is to create a Living Trust.. basically they settle their estate before you die.. and when they die.. the courts and attorneys - and all their related fees - stay out of settling their estate... I have had to settle two estates with a Living Trust.. and it makes the transition to when you become a "orphan" - both parents have died.. much less trouble and time consuming. My wife and myself have set up these when we were in our fifties. And yes, you are correct...every personal health issue/trauma that you experience makes you a better and more emphatic Pharmacist..