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I have become my 91-year old father’s advocate.
By experiencing emergency room visits, doctors’ appointments, hospital stays, and rehab stays, I have gained a new perspective on our elderly population.
I truly believe they are becoming a “forgotten society.”
My father’s last rehab stay was at Trinity Mission in Hillsville after he was released from Roanoke Memorial Hospital. He had been suffering from aspiration pneumonia and had a pacemaker implanted.
Daddy had to drink thickened liquids, and because of the medication he was taking, it was imperative that he drank plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
I had to complain for several days that there was no water in his room when I went there daily. After a meeting, we were assured that this would be resolved. When my brother went the next evening, there was again no water.
The cardiologist’s office (from Roanoke) called and left a message advising of Daddy’s appointment for a checkup. During his illness, Daddy could not walk nor get up out of his wheelchair. He was extremely weak.
When my brother voiced concern how Daddy was to be transported, he was assured by staff at Trinity Mission that Daddy was able to be transported by personal vehicle. Daddy said, “I don’t think that I’ll be able to make the trip.”
A nurse told me that he was able to go by car. Trinity Mission did send an employee with my daddy and my brother. Upon arriving at the cardiologist’s office, he was sent to the emergency room to be admitted again to Roanoke Memorial.
When they put Daddy into the car, he was almost dropped to the ground. Daddy should have been transported to Roanoke from Trinity Mission by ambulance.
Trinity Mission should have never made a decision to have Daddy transported in a car. If a 91-year old man, who had been discharged days earlier from the hospital with pneumonia and a pacemaker implanted, doesn’t need to be transported by ambulance to Roanoke, I don’t know who does.
Are profits more important than patients’ quality of life in their last days?
Sandra J. Felts