Interesting article

Nurses General Nursing


Sad. I hope he feels better.

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching.

all i could think of was that there are reasons some "sweet old people" don't have family come to visit them!

all i could think of was that there are reasons some "sweet old people" don't have family come to visit them!

you are so dam_ right.......

Specializes in ICU, Telemetry.

I will never forget one guy I had as a patient...sweet, befuddled, "pleasantly demented" and he needed something relatively simple (chole? appy? I don't remember now), so we had to get consent. I called his nursing home to find out who the POA was, and the nurse there told me I probably wouldn't have any luck with the family, since they never came to see him, and he was such a sweet guy, they were probably all awful.

So I called the first of the 4 kids. And was told that no one there would be giving permission for anything that would help my patient, and that more over, they hoped he'd die, and to let him know when he died so they could throw a party. I was stunned at the absolute hatred the patient's child had toward him. Called the next number, and this time got a bigger piece of the puzzle. I was told he'd sexually assaulted his female children, and routinely beat his wife and all the kids. A somber male voice told me that he understood my position, but that he couldn't possibly bring himself to do something to help his father. "I've got stripes on my back from that man to this day. If you can make him take those scars off me, I'll authorize whatever it is you need."

Sweating and feeling really sick at this point, I called the third child, and a spouse answered and told me they wouldn't let his wife come to the phone (the first kid had called the rest by that time). "My wife's in there crying her eyes out, and she's cried enough because of that ...." and he used language that made even my Army brat ears turn red.

Feeling sick, I called the fourth child, and was told that they wouldn't be giving consent either. She told me, "for God's sake, make sure they know not to leave him alone around children. My kids have never seen him and never will."

So, I called the house supervisor, and told her we'd need to get a guardian ad litem for the patient, and briefly why. And then I called the nursing home back and told them while I couldn't go into particulars to make sure he was never, ever, EVER left alone with a child. I remember how bad I felt to the kids initially after I talked to the nursing home...not coming to see their sweet old dad. Now, I couldn't blame them, and I felt horrible I'd dragged up such horrible memories. We got the patient thru whatever was wrong, and sent him back, but it was one of the creepier things that's happened to me as a nurse. I mean, everyone gets old and sick...saints and sinners, pedophiles, wife beaters and child molesters right along with people who would have died before harming a child. We never know who that next person is, but ever since that patient, I've always kept a sharp eye on any child on the never know if they wander into the wrong room what behaviors may manifest in an otherwise okay "sweet little old guy" or "sweet little old lady."

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