Senior Abuse and Neglect
SENIOR HEALTHCARE WARNING! PLEASE SHARE AND BE AWARE….
I’ve been my aunt’s care giver for the last several years. This past January 2016 she was admitted to the hospital where she has been ever since.
On Friday (September 2, 2016) the hospital called to tell me that her condition has worsened. But they neglected to tell me that she had a terrible fall on Thursday night.
Do you think they would do an X-Ray to see if there are any broken bones in her 80 year old body???? …the answer is NO!!
Do you know why??? I was told because: “it is NOT standard protocol”.. ??? “The resident doctor was called (he never went to examine my aunt) he said it wasn’t necessary. The nurses took her vitals and everything seemed fine.”
My Aunt’s regular doctor was also notified but thought it wasn’t necessary because my aunt wasn’t complaining. However, she has dementia and they have her heavily sedated on Dilaudid. How much complaining can a sedated person do?
I went to see my aunt on Saturday and not one of the nursing staff told me about the fall. My aunt is heavily medicated so conversation was impossible.
Today, when I called to see how my aunt was doing, one of the nurses slipped up and mentioned “her fall”. I was outraged and demanded to know WHY an X-Ray wasn’t done.
Her answer: “it wasn’t deemed necessary”. The ONLY reason they are doing an X-Ray now is because I am screaming NEGLECT and it’s totally ABUSIVE to not do a precautionary X-Ray.
All I am asking for is some COMMON SENSE…when someone we love who is 80 years old, falls on a concrete floor, for the love of God, X-RAY HER FREAKING BODY so when you move her you don’t do any further potential damage if there is something broken.
Just because she has dementia and is already sedated as per her comfort measures, how can you rule out a broken bone just because her vitals seem to be ok? The nurses reasoning WHY an X-Ray wasn’t done: “because if she has a soft tissue injury it will not show up on an X-Ray”..
I pushed further and said, “Don’t you think it’s weird that she was walking on Thursday and Friday she hasn’t been able to walk or eat and required more pain meds to keep her comfortable?” Her response was, “she hasn’t eaten a lot of food so she might be too weak”.
But Saturday she was in more pain so they increased the pain medication….INSTEAD OF DOING A X-RAY????
I tried to talk with her on Saturday and she would open her eyes, cry and whimper, then fall back to sleep. I was there about 2.5 hours and there was no response out of her. She could only keep her eyes open for a minute or two at a time.
I do not know how to purse this neglect. Where do I go from here? When the X-Ray comes back and there is a broken bone…will they even tell me the truth?? I don’t know how to read an X-Ray.
If they’ve neglected to tell me the truth once, why would they start being honest now? I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if all those medical notes and records on my aunt and this incident are being scrubbed clean as I type this…
No other doctor wants to get involved because of the “good ‘ol boys club’ so where does this abuse go from here…??? NO WHERE….THAT’S WHY WE HAVE SUCH A SHITTY HEALTH CARE SYSTEM.
Today my aunt is indicating pain in her left arm shoulder and lower part of body. So they have increased the meds again for comfort measures.
What makes the matter worse, she has dementia and is confused at the best of times. Even if she WOULD have the possibility to communicate, would anyone believe her???
After speaking with Charge Nurse, she said that they will now do an X-Ray and call me with the results. The charge nurse was sympathetic to my outrage but calmly kept reminding me that they were just following protocol.
How do I help my aunt? Where should I take this from here? What is the Protocol when a patient falls out of bed? Do dementia patients have a different protocol than other patients?
I have no intention of suing nor am I looking for any money or compensation, I only want care for my 80 year old aunt. Why is this asking too much?
This is only the beginning of the horror story. There is even more but for now, this is my plight for help.
Thank you for your time and consideration,