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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?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I hate to keep dwelling on this...

I have never been in the area of the WTC in the anniversary of 9/11.
I had an appointment with my therapist yesterday at 12:30. I usually arrive from Brooklyn, but yesterday was my pass day. Every other week I have a day off. So, I travelled from Chelsea, or for you non-New Yorkers-farther uptown. My subway stop? World Trade Center. I had heard on the radio or was it tv that there was a frozen zone downtown. Would I have a problem with closed subway stations? Would I be able to walk from the stop to my shrink? I called 311-the information #. No infor. They tranferred me to the MTA line, no information. CALL BACK TOMORROW! Now, I'm sorry but who is talking to whom in this city. This is the day before the big commemoration in the big city...
I took my chances and got on the subway. I still have my share of PTSD from that fateful day. When airplanes make a lot of noise fly low, I feel a shimmer of fear. And helicopters are always making a lot of noise, and that noise scares me. As I got there I saw fire men from ever country speaking every language in the subway. Wow! They came all the way here for this. The streets were crowded even in the rain and it was big rain at times. I was touched . The reading of names was loud and echoing and seemed to be coming from several places-speakers. I had heard my cousin Lucys name read on TV before I left.
Guess what I talked about in therapy?
On a lighter note: As I walked to the subway on my residential street, I saw a long line of somewhat well dressed people headed toward the German Lutheran Church near 8th Ave. At the church, I asked, what's going on. They're auditioning smaller parts for "Sex and the City." The things that happen in my neighborhood. When I got back, the line was even longer, all the way to my building.

Lucy Fishman

September 15, 2001
from the New York Times

"Lucy Fishman: Antsy on First Day of School

Tuesday was the first day of school for Lucy Fishman's 3-year-old son, Jason.

Her family sometimes theorizes that she stayed at her office in the trade center because she wanted to hear from her husband, Gene Springer, how it had gone: if Jason had cried, if he went willingly, that kind of thing.

Whatever, when Mr. Springer called Ms. Fishman, 36, an executive secretary at Aon Research, in her 105th floor office, he got only her voice mail.

Family was what mattered to Ms. Fishman. This summer she and her husband built a big pool in their backyard in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, and that's where they and the kids -- Jason and his sister Samantha, 11 -- hung out.

Ms. Fishman's favorite movie? She liked action pictures, her younger sister Mary Dwyer said, but the movie did not really matter; she just liked curling up next to her husband.

He agreed to talk to a reporter about her, but he began to weep and was unable to speak, so it fell to Ms. Dwyer."