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Old 03-30-2012, 01:40 AM   #1
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Hospital nightmare.

Do any of you have troubles when your LO has to go in the hospital? It is so frustrating that it seems none of the doctors or nurses understand Alzheimer's. Not only do they ask Mom a ton of questions constantly that she may or may not understand, but they take everything she says as the gospel truth. All the questions upset her and I tell them over and over not to keep asking her the same questions every time the walk in the room. Ugh, but that is the minor thing on this hospital trip.

Mom fell and broke her hip. She went through the surgery fine and we were told that they would have her back in her room soon. We waited in her room for almost 2 hours and no Mom. I went up to the nurses station and asked where she was? The nurse says, Oh she has to be moved to the Critical Care Unit. Hm, you think you might have wanted to tell us this! Come to find out that they overdosed Mom after her surgery with Morphine and she had to be put on a ventilator!

Next day, I noticed Mom's hands were swollen about 4x their regular appearance and I asked what is going on with that? Oh, it's just fluid on her from her surgery. I told them I think something is not right and they need to find out why. I told the doctor that came in and got more lame excuses. Finally after I complained about it all day until they did an ultrasound and she had blood clots in both arms! I am not a happy camper at this point!

3 days later she is now moved to the Cardiac wing and physically she seems to be out of the woods but her Alzheimer's and probably pain medicine has her so delusional and paranoid now. I just pray that all the medicine hasn't progressed her Alzheimer's.

Tomorrow starts getting her up and start walking. She will be 84 next week and her poor little body just went through so much and mostly due to hospital error.

Anyway, just needed to vent. Thanks for reading. Hope everyone on this board is doing good.

Last edited by Karen4you; 03-30-2012 at 01:59 AM.

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:46 AM   #2
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

Oh my it sounds like they really have put you through the ringer and your stay has just begun. The nurses staff in the hospital are not trained with Alzheimer, yes they may have had a chapter or two in the books at school but they are there to help mom get over the surgery, Alzheimer is as alien to them in most cases as nursing is to us. My mom was in hospital for almost five months, and yes it started with a broken hip, the surgery really did affect my mom. Before surgery she was living at home with my dad with help, after surgery it was apparent that a care home was where she needed to be. I was with my mom every day from around noon to nine at night. My mom could not figure out that stupid little call bell so she could not call for help for anything, a quite patient is no trouble so the nurses did not check on her because they are so used to being called when needed. Yes it was a nightmare, from the first broken hip to the uti,s to the second broken hip. Be wary of the Gerri chair. It is more of a convince for the nurses than for mom. If your mom is really confused she may not know why she is there and will try to get out of bed. If this happens they may label your mom as a fall risk and stick her in a Gerri chair with a locked on tray in the front so mom can not get out. Don,t get me wrong these chairs have there place as long as the person in them is getting their physical therapy and not left in them for hours at a time. The best is to get mom out of the hospital and into rehab or if possible back to her care home if she is in one. Even thow mom is in a hospital you really need to be vigilant.. From the type of food being given to keeping mom clean. Most people with advanced Alzheimer. Do not like water so bathing is really hard, add being in a strange place and it makes it a real challenge. Don,t be afraid to ask questions about moms meds that they are giving her and when they are giving them. Is your mom able to comprehend the call bell? If not extra steps need to be taken to keep an eye on mom to make sure that when she needs to use the washroom or anything else that someone will be there to hear her ask. When I was not at the hospital I had my mom sit beside the nurses station because she could note use the call bell. I hope your mom recovers quickly and she has no lasting effects from the surgery. Remember you are your moms advocate, be strong.
Lots of hugs coming your way.
Judy
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:57 AM   #3
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

You are not the only one. I have to say the persons with Alzheimer's hate hospital!! Hospital is not dementia-friendly. Even the nurses are impatient and only know how to deal with regular people. The noisy environment scares the elders. I can write a whole book about my FIL's scare in the hospital. He was hospitalized at least once a year from 2006-2010 until he moved to a nice nursing home. Now he does not have to go to the hospital. The nurses at home can care for him. My FIL was so scared in the hospital that he thought they tried to kill him in 2009. It was just his imagination. He was just being observed overnight for his heart med. I think my FIL got worse with dementia every time after he left the hospital.

The problem with her is she is confused and does not understand what happened. So she would struggle and refuse to co-operate. She would pull out all the tubes and etc.

Of course, if the hospital screws things up, it will make the whole thing worse! I am so sorry the hospital was not being nice to her and failed to tell you important information. You just have to force them to tell you and it is your right!
You may want to ask someone with authority to help you out at this hospital. Something is fishy. Does she live at home? I think she needs the advocate to make sure she is not maltreated.
It sounds really bad the way they did it. My FIL never had that kind of trauma.

Hugs,
Nina

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Old 03-30-2012, 08:23 AM   #4
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

Thank you so much for replying, Judy. Oh my goodness your Mom had a time too. I am so sorry to hear all that she went through. That had to be a long process for you and your Mom. It's just so sad that most doctors in the hospital don't understand it either. It is pretty much an epidemic now with Alzheimer's and I wish they would at least have to take a class on it.

We try never to leave her alone for long in the hospital. Mom thought the beeps coming off her IV's were the doorbell or the telephone so she would never figure out the call button. Yes, she tries to get up and out of the bed too and that is scary!

Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate it. Believe me I do keep after them and I am probably not their favorite person. I was just frustrated this morning for all the life threatening mistakes they have made. We are hoping the next couple days go well for her and they start the physical therapy today. Not sure if it is possible to get them to come to the house for her PT or not. She is much more content at home and not scared like the hospital. I guess it will depend on a lot of factors in the next couple days to see if that is even an option.

Again, I really appreciate you responding to me. It made me feel better. Have a great day.

Nina, I just saw your post. You just described my Mom to the T. She sounds like your FIL. She is afraid of all the noise that they make in the hallways. She also saw a man with a knife in the room last night, among other things. I feel so bad for her because she is so scared. Bless her heart.

She does stay at home with my Dad. I go over for a few hours a day to relieve him. Not sure what will happen now. Normally, she is much worse in the hospital with delusions and such. It just seems a lot worse this visit. I am sure with the anesthesia and the overdose she might not get back to where she was.

I appreciate you girls responding. Sometimes it makes you feel better when someone knows what your going through.

 
Old 03-30-2012, 08:31 AM   #5
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

My FIL had therapy at home in late 2007 when he was severely sick with his med. and started walking with a cane. He could not walk at first in the hospital. So the home health care sent the PT home and there was a nurse who came to check for a while. It was only for a month or 6 weeks. I am sure you can find home health care at home for therapy or nurse. Medicare A/B pays for that. It depends on your Mom - if she can go home, it is the best.

Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 03-30-2012 at 08:32 AM.

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:01 AM   #6
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

I so empathize with your situation. NO, the hospital is not a place for someone with dementia. They do not get it and they actually make the situation worse. That is why I never leave my parents alone... even to go to the bathroom! The one time I did it turned into disaster. No wait it was twice.

You will probably see residual negative effects from the anesthesia. There is also the trauma of the hospital stay which will cause a decline. She is out of her norm and that is confusing to her. She is going to react with that adrenal flight or fight reaction. Everything leans to the negative, including the hospital staff that doesn't get it.

Also be aware that if there is pain she is not going to cooperate with "walking". She doesn't connect the need to walk but connects the pain with not walking. She very well may be resistance.

As for the blood clots and overdosed on Morphine... those are definitely hospital errors that you need to bring to the attention of hospital management. If you do not get satisfactory answer then please go one step further and notify your state department responsible for overseeing hospital function. They have some gross oversights there that could be life threatening.

I might mention the next step Karen. Most rehab facilities are no more adapt at dealing with dementia patients than the hospitals are. They expect a level of cooperation and awareness that dementia does not give them. Mom won't cooperate... well no because she doesn't understand what you are saying and she can't remember what you said 10 minutes ago. Mom is not following the rules... well no because she doesn't understand your rules. Mom is being belligerent... well yes because she is scared and has no idea what you are trying to do. If you can not find a rehab facility with a specialty in dementia care then it might be best to take Mom back to her facility or home and let her rehabilitate there. She can have PT come in as often as necessary for as long as necessary. Yet at other times she will be in her more familiar surroundings with those that know how to deal with her demented behavior. There have been several that did this in Mom's facility and it worked well. We have had several that attempted a rehab facility that came "home" early

Venting is good for you so keep venting I know I have in the past. Stay with Mom in shifts if needed until she gets out. You are her advocate... the only ones she has. She can not advocate for herself. Also know that you have the right to insist that something be taken care of and you also have the right to refuse any treatment. Just know you don't always have to take the doctor's "recommendation" if you know it is wrong. Yes, I said recommendation!! That is what gets me through the day in a hospital setting because I gave up the thought of doctor's "orders" and started looking at them as recommendations that I can accept or reject

I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. I hope your Mom does as well as possible and she is happily tucked back in her normal again soon.

Love, deb

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 12:45 PM   #7
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

Thanks Deb, for all the good suggestions. I didn't even know they had rehabs for dementia patients. I will have to start looking around for those. Dad is taking the day shift and they said she would need to go rehab for a couple weeks. I want to find out if it is doable at home first and if not I will certainly check out about the Dementia Rehabs.
The hospital is supposed to give us a detail report of what happened after surgery, who is responsible for overdosing her, why they would not let us see her for 7 hours after this happened. I kid you not they would not let us see her. Scary, what might have been going on during that time. Then with not acting on her swelling of her hands. Should be interesting to see what this reports says.
Thanks again to you all for the suggestions and help.

Last edited by Karen4you; 03-30-2012 at 12:46 PM.

 
Old 03-30-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

Oh, one more question for you all. Do you know how to go about finding a good rehab for Dementia? I placed a call to the Alzheimer's Association and they are supposed to call me back but wondered if you have any other suggestions. Spoke to my dad and they said that she shouldn't have home health care for this. I will have to find out why when I get to the hospital. Any help would be greatly appreciated. So glad for this board. We are in the Dallas area so if anyone has used one and would recommend it, that would be great too.

 
Old 03-30-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

Karen, since mom is in the hospital it may be a good time to have mom assessed. After my moms hip surgery my mom slipped down that slippery slop a long way. The desission of a care home was taken out of our hands as there was no way my dad was up to doing all that was nessecary to care for my mom, bathing her,changing her, changing thre bed sheets when an acccident occurred, meds, right down to having special foods, this is just the tip of the iceburg, so like I said the choice of my mom coming home was not there, even with help there would have been the night time to consider...get the nurses to show you how to use a transfer belt, it is a belt with handles at the back for someone to hold onto while mom is learning to walk again. When taking mom for a walk try to include going to the washroom, or walking to the commons room for tea and cookies..make sure dad does not get too tired as this will be playing havoc with one way or another, it will be very stressful for him. Make sure the nurses help get mom up and washed before dad comes as it will make dad feel better to see his sweetheart clean and cheerful. Watch moms face for signs of pain, the clenching of her teeth, the tight fist, shaking and so on, if you see or think mom is hurting call for the nurse and get something to help mom. I had to learn my moms timetable for her meds and was on their case if I thought something was amiss.it is nice if the nurses like you but remember you are not there to make friends you are there to help your mom get the best possible help that she needs.

Now you go girl!!!
Hugs Judy
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:33 PM   #10
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen4you View Post
Oh, one more question for you all. Do you know how to go about finding a good rehab for Dementia? I placed a call to the Alzheimer's Association and they are supposed to call me back but wondered if you have any other suggestions. Spoke to my dad and they said that she shouldn't have home health care for this. I will have to find out why when I get to the hospital. Any help would be greatly appreciated. So glad for this board. We are in the Dallas area so if anyone has used one and would recommend it, that would be great too.
Usually the hospital's social worker would suggest the place or the person will give you a list. Of course, you need to shop for yourself. I guess you have to make sure it is for dementia and you should ask for the reputation of the place. Ask people who have been there for any comments.
Since the hospital is not so nice, you could check out the senior center and ask for the info. Ask around in the community. There may be some brochure for nursing homes as well as residential homes and things like that. Get a brochure and find the local lists so you know where to look for. You may also drop by the place to see if it is OK to you.
Note that sometimes the social worker would work it out for you so you may need to give your idea to the person so they will go ahead make the arrangement since she would go there directly.

Good luck,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 03-30-2012 at 03:35 PM.

 
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Old 03-30-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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Re: Hospital nightmare.

I remember when DH was sent to the hospital by the NH for his behavioral issues. When I arrived at the emergency room, I discovered a young nurse shouting at DH to get his personal information as if he was deaf -- not demented. It didn't matter how loud she got, he wasn't going to be able to tell her when he got his last tetanus shot!

Recently one of the other patients in the NH had a medical issue and was sent to a hospital. By guesswork and ultimately a scan since this patient was unable to communicate, they figured out that she had something like gallstones. Her husband told me that he consulted with several doctors before one would treat her. The others said she wasn't a candidate for treatment because of her age and severe dementia. Her husband thinks that their real concern was that Medicare would deem the surgery inappropriate and refuse to pay for it. (One of the doctors told him that since his wife was vomiting and couldn't eat, this could help her come to the end.)
Anyway, he fought for his wife, one doctor agreed to give her the surgery, and she's back in the NH. She is approaching end stage, but isn't in pain anymore.

I think he went through a real hospital nightmare, trying to do the right thing where it's impossible to know the "right answer." When the patient still has some quality of life, the battle lines are much clearer. We have to talk and fight for our loved ones, but I sure hope I'm never in this man's shoes. I think it is almost inevitable in Alzheimer's World though.

 
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