It is exhausting mentally and physically managing healthcare for loved ones and keeping them safe!
In addition to my loved one with dementia, I assist my 91 year old dad. He continues to live alone in the home I grew up in. He is doing well and has been adhering to the shelter at home protocol.
A couple of months back during a telemedicine call, one of his doctors requested bloodwork. It was suggested to have it drawn in early May because then it should be safe to go to the lab. Unfortunately that was not the situation in Massachusetts early May.
I consulted his doctors and that started a series of communications back and forth. I did not want him leaving his home unnecessarily during this “shelter at home”. He is 91 years old! I asked if it could be drawn from home or if there was another service that could be used.
“No I am sorry”,
“We can’t find any service.”
I had to make the decision not to bring my dad in for bloodwork or risk his health by exposing him to a public facility in an area that had a high volume of confirmed cases of coronavirus.
I am a troubleshooter. I was not going to take no for an answer. One door closes I will find another entrance.
Fast forward a whole month later, with the help of a nurse care manager and her manager, I was offered a drive up option at his medical facility! My father and I will be met at my car. The technician will come out to the car in full PPE and take care of my dad, a similar process used for drive up coronavirus testing.
This is not the first time I have heard the “no” we can’t help you when managing elder care. I am persistent and determined to make sure the “no” is a real barrier and not just the easy thing to say and do. I am grateful my dad has allowed me to help him with his medical appointments so I can intervene. But it is exhausting and frustrating!
Our elders should be treated with more dignity. There must be an understanding that what maybe a simple request to younger clients is often a challenge to elders. We can’t tell them to shelter at home and then put them in harms way. We can’t automate phone call reminders and medication renewals with no access to a real person when dexterity and hearing loss impedes navigating the phone prompts. We can’t tell them to use a website when they don’t have access or knowledge. I could go on…..but I will end with, we owe our elders compassion and better service.
HartFelt wishes when we are elders we are treated with dignity and respect