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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Health Care for the Elderly in Florida

I'm in beautiful Florida. Gee, it sure is HOT in September.

Our mission- Sue, her brother Jay and I, to determine whether their father belongs in an extended care facility (warehouse until he dies.) Sue and I were in the process of deciding if we wanted to buy a place in Florida to eventually retire to, but from what I have seen the health care system here is even worse than in NY. I guess because people are mostly old and don't really advocate for themselves (gross generalization.) Every time, the father-in-law goes into the hospital, he comes out sicker which necessitates a time in rehab. where they screw up his meds., which makes him disoriented, which results in another diagnosis and more meds. which may react with the existing meds. and the wheel rolls on.

Extended care facilities do not have treatment plans. When I asked for one, the director asked "what do you think is wrong with him?" Arrgh! Well about 5 things that I could see with my eyes and that I thought were correctable with little trouble (like how about getting him his glasses and how about his hearing aid!) And then how about some mental health services. We heard that priests make the rounds frequently.
As we were leaving yesterday, the director said "we like to make them feel comfortable in their last days..."

Who determines whether he goes for treatment or warehousing? Is it his wife or is it his doctor who decides that he is beyond help and to let him slowly deteriorate in a 6 person home with the care of 2 home health aides with no view of the outside world. How can the sun not go down?

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