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Being an advocate/caregiver for a hospitalized patient

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Old 08-01-2009, 12:50 AM   #1
Maggie L
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NJ
Posts: 1
Maggie L HB User
Being an advocate/caregiver for a hospitalized patient

This is something that's been bothering me for awhile, and I'd like to get other people's input.

Both my parents and my husband were hospitalized at various times with life-threatening conditions. What I noticed with my parents was that half the time when I'd go to the hospital to see them right after work, SOMETHING would always be wrong.

My father was incontinent, so you'd go in the room and the odor was horrible - search for the nurse, get someone to change his bedding.

My mother was unconscious. You'd go in the room and she'd be moaning and moaning. Go find the nurse, discover that her bedding was wet, and her lips and tongue were so dry that no one used a glycerine stick on her (you'd get the glycerine stick, rub her lips and tongue and presto, she stopped moaning.)

By the time my husband wound up in the hospital after several surgeries, I had gotten a clue from other caregiver that you could actually hire an LPN to be with him when I wasn't there. That meant I could actually go home and get some sleep and be certain someone would be there to get him what he wanted and needed for his comfort, and maybe to save his life.

You spend enough time, caregiving for people you love in a hospital, you realize you aren't a "visitor." You ARE a caregiver, and that's because of a variety of issues - it's always a luck of the draw which nurses or aides you'll get that day. If they'll give a damn. If they consider anything other than an immediate life-or-death emergency with a patient to be important enough to respond to.

I've had enough time to mull this over (that and my anger; there's more to all this, but that's my problem). I saw enough bad and mediocre LPNs I hired to watch my husband to know that even that wasn't a good solution, just an expedient one so I could get some rest.

I was thinking of starting a company to act as an advocate/caregiver to people in hospitals who had no one to watch out for them or help them. I'm not a medical professional, although you become one when you spend all your time trying to keep hospitals from inadvertently killing your loved ones.

I know there are other people who must be in the same situation I was in.

Does this kind of thing seem like something any of you would've liked to have had? Someone to "take over" when your loved one is hospitalized, to keep up, to bug nurses and doctors, to keep an eye on things so you can get some time for yourself?

I'd love to hear what others think of this idea. (Please, be as honest as you can.)


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Old 08-09-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Re: Being an advocate/caregiver for a hospitalized patient

I'm sure there is a need. Not to be a spoiled sport but I wonder what the liability insurance for such a venture would be.

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