Filed under hospitals

Aging Parent Hospitalizations and Observation Status

Just when you think that you have settled the most significant adult child-aging parent issues — when you and your parents have spoken about medical care support, finances, and the range of their end-of-life wishes — along comes another concern to worry about, and it’s one that may be completely out of our control. We … Continue reading

Pets and Patients: Can Pets Help With Healing?

Ever so often a blogger, in this case me, discovers a piece of news that’s old, but so interesting and relevant. When Best Friends Can Visit, appearing in the New York Times New Old Age blog, is just such an article. This report, written by Judith Graham, describes how some hospitals and medical centers have decided … Continue reading

Aging Parent Hospitalization

I’ve written about senior parent hospitalizations several times on this blog. When a parent is hospitalized, an adult child needs energy, clarity, and attention to detail. Recently Dale Carter, over at Transition Aging Parents, wrote an excellent post about her experience when her mother was hospitalized for surgery, and she includes lots of ideas that … Continue reading

Avoiding a Return Trip to the Hospital

One out of five hospitalized Medicare patients needs to return to the hospital a second time within 30 days of their first discharge. A second hospital admission, shortly after the first, is a no-win situation for everyone concerned about an elder parent. Patients are often sicker, they are unnecessarily exposed to other hospital bacteria, and families … Continue reading

Aging Parents and Hospital Admission for Observations

When your parents go to the hospital and need to stay over night or longer, be sure the medical staff admits them as official patients and not for observation (which means that technically they are not admitted at all). People hospitalized for observation do not qualify for Medicare’s skilled nursing care benefit after leaving the hospital, and … Continue reading

Elder Parent Surgery, Part II: At UVA Hospital

My mother’s laparoscopic surgery at the University of Virginia Health System went splendidly with the best possible outcome. Part of the day’s success is due to medical skills, but it’s also due to the UVA hospital staff members who treated my mother with respect, dignity, and gentleness at every point of the day. Mom did … Continue reading

The Patient’s Checklist by Elizabeth Bailey

A patient checklist — what a terrific idea! Checklists are “in” right now. John’s Hopkins physician, Dr. Peter Pronovost focuses on checklists to reduce mistakes, reduce hospital-acquired infections, and improve patient safety in hospitals. Writer-physician Atul Gawande publicized checklists even more widely in his book, The Checklist Manifesto, describing more examples about how physicians can make … Continue reading

Art in a Hospital? Does it Help with Healing?

Read this short Detroit News article, Saint. Joseph Mercy Oakland Enhancing Hospital Environment, appearing in the paper on March 22, 2012. Not only does this hospital currently display art on its walls, but it is now seeking art to purchase or commission to become a permanent part of the new South Patient Tower, currently under construction. … Continue reading

7 Communication Techniques Made a Difference at the Hospital

I’ve observed how good communication can help a hospitalized  aging parent maintain an optimistic outlook. This summer Dad was admitted to Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, VA (read my blog posts from RMH last May) and to section 8G at the Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Hospitalizations are an enormous challenge for a family, … Continue reading

Hospital Cafeterias With No Low-Sodium Options? – Low Sodium Diet, Part II

Read other Low Salt Journey installments: Senior Parents Get Started in Their 80′s: Part I, Hospital Cafeterias With No Low-Sodium Options? Part II, Making Sense of Sodium Labels and Numbers: Part III, and 5 Lessons Learned About Cutting Back on Sodium: Low-Salt Eating: Part IV. Over the past six weeks I have been in four hospital cafeterias with three different friends or family members who … Continue reading