March 2011

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I’m writing this post as I sit in my mother’s hospital room. In her 80s, mom has suffered from a variety of health problems over the last few years. Cancer, osteoporosis and fractures, dementia. Now, as a result of her radiation treatments, her hip disintegrated and she had to have hip replacement surgery, which has been followed by post-op delirium. Throughout all her ailments, and all the different hospitals and physician offices we’ve visited, I have often wondered how patients who don’t have the level of family support and financial resources my mom are able to survive. She has good insurance, and all of her children are well-educated professional people who can afford to provide any supplemental services that insurance does not. I hold her power of attorney, and my sister is named as her health care proxy in her advance directive. She has a safe and healthy home environment and will be well cared for after she leaves the hospital too. So many people lack access to all of these vital resources. (more…)