The Cold Hard Facts? - page 4
I've been involved in nursing (in some form or fashion) for 11 yrs.. Recently, we took in my elderly father-in-law. I believe I have "been around" when it comes to geriatrics and LTC. The more I... Read More
Dec 8, '06Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 557; Likes: 47P.S. I would rather see my tax dollars spent on legal citizens of this country for care, food, medicine, and shelter, just to name a few things, than sent to Iraq, Iran, and a few other countries I can name.
Dec 9, '06Occupation: LTC Specialty: 9 year(s) of experience ; Joined: May '04; Posts: 3,422; Likes: 1,298Quote from CapeCodMermaidWhy should and does the government pay for about 80% of the crap they pay for and to support people (illegals, foreign countries) and causes that are the true waste of tax dollars.I'm sorry for your loss,but surely you don't think the government should pay for people who can pay for themselves just so they 'have something to pass on to their kids'. We waste billions of dollars every year keeping people alive who have no quality of life. We throw medicine away instead of recycling it. My healthcare proxy is hanging on my fridge door and my HCP knows exactly what my wishes are. I'm not sure being home is always the best option. Do I want to burden my family with my care? No...I'd rather be in a home with caring staff where my family can visit as long as they want when they want. I think there would be less resentment because they weren't providing the care. I love my kids and they're great but they are NOT equipped to take care of a sick old person.
Didn't these old people who were once working members of society help fund the government (who shouldn't be expected to take care of them now that they can't contribute tax dollars like they once did?)
Why should the working class of society not be able to comfortably afford medical care without taking a vow of poverty? Why are the deadbeats of society who never worked or paid taxes "entitled" to the same "quality" of care the working class - who not only paid their dues in taxes but now must have what they worked their whole lives for, sucked away?
Yes, people who can afford it should pay, but why can't the middle class afford it without being takent to the cleaners?
I also believe nursing homes have gone beyond serving their purpose. I also wholeheartedly agree that family should not be burdened with taking care of old people. I'll take a gift certificate to Dr. Kevorkian's clinic over the option of going to a nursing home anyday.
Dec 10, '06Joined: Nov '02; Posts: 6,088; Likes: 9,217You won't get an arguement from me about the waste in government...and you're right...why should WE pay for illegals when we can't take care of those CITIZENS who have contributed their whole lives. I don't like waste of any kind. I also don't like it when people know how to use the system...I worked at a SNF where the owner's mother was a resident...HE had more money than God....SHE was there on Medicaid!
Dec 10, '06Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 213; Likes: 75What really angers and saddens me are the elderly in LTC who have a legal guardian through on of those guardianship services. I don't work in LTC, (I'm not a nurse yet, but I'm a paramedic) and I've picked up many, many pts from LTC. I have seen so many people with those who are 85+ and a FULL code who are just hospitalized for infection after infection after infection. Isn't it funny how they are not removed from life support (after virtually all possibilities are exhausted) until after the first of the month?
Dec 10, '06Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 1,394; Likes: 217Quote from semisweetchickShe might have known more than you think, semisweet. Also, her husband probably just could not stop being her protector or face the fact that he was losing his lifemate. It is very, very hard.This has been a very interesting thread to read. I've agreed with so many of the sentiments, while others have bid me pause and forced me to examine my own values.
One thing I believe contributes to the "life at all cost" ideal is the fact that so many people choose to live in denial. It's not that they "can't" face facts; it's that they "won't." Some people believe honesty is vulgar or rude. Other people believe they shouldn't have to be subjected (or their loved one shouldn't be subjected) to the emotional pain and upset that often accompany facing the facts. I know this because I live with an entire family of such people.
Although my MIL and FIL talked openly about end-of-life issues and had living wills, when the end finally was coming for my MIL and she was suffering from ovarian cancer (at age 86), my FIL insisted neither the doctors nor the family TELL my MIL she was dying. He said he did this in order to "protect" her. In reality, it did not protect her. The first few weeks after her diagnosis of terminal cancer, she spent most of the time upset and confused because she couldn't understand why she had to go to a nursing home instead of going home. As the weeks wore on, we kept imploring my FIL to come to terms with the fact she was terminal and to let us move her to hospice, but he was adamant this not happen. He kept saying, "She has to fight!" Talk about denial.
She was finally moved to hospice after she had lost consciousness, two days before she died. Rather than "protect" her feelings, my FIL's utter denial of the situation forced her to endure unimaginable confusion and bewilderment about what she was going through. Obviously, when she continued losing weight and feeling unwell in the nursing home, she figured out she was dying. But the matter was never talked about openly.
Think about it: she could have made the most of her final few months, surrounded by loved ones, and died with dignity, but instead her last days slipped away in pain and confusion about what was happening to her. I think that's really frightful.
Anyway, my point is that I believe this sort of denial is exactly why so many families seem to believe in the "life at all cost" philosophy. They are in total denial about the reality that death is part of life. I think this rationale also explains why so many people abandon their family members in nursing homes. If they never visit, they can live in comfortable denial about what their parents' (or grandparents or whomever) life is like -- and the picture in their mind's-eye is always rosy.
This is one of the reasons I'm very interested in going into geriatric nursing. I want to be in a position to provide comfort and dignity to those elders whose families can't or won't come to grips with end-of-life realities.
Dec 10, '06Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 1,394; Likes: 217Quote from sasparillaCan't blame them for covering their butts. Being sued is a nightmare. I agree that we need, as a nation, to start doing health care right. Health care should not be a privilege. Everyone, including illegals, should be able to get health care. How much of it - aye, there's the rub, Matey.I agree with Disney, at what point do we stop providing care when the person is obviously not going to get any better? I'm only a nursing student right now, but I see thousands upon thousands of dollars spent on people who are at the end of their lives and I can't help but think that some of that money might be better spent on insuring the uninsured, on preventative medicine, on healthcare for children. It seems we can't let the elderly die with any dignity.
Though its not just there where we spend massive resources. I was in NICU the other day and saw several very preterm infants who will not have any quality of life at all (if they even make it out of there) but who will consume (and are currently consuming) so many healthcare dollars over the course of their sad, difficult lives. I know this may sound heartless to some but hard choices aren't being made and a lot of it I think is doctors and institutions just covering their butts.