This morning around 7 a.m. I stumbled down to the lobby of my hotel in search of caffeine. Imagine my surprise when I encountered John–who checked me in yesterday afternoon—serving at the coffee bar. “Do you live here!?” I asked him. He smiled and said, “Sort of.”
It’s happened to all of us. We treat our patients, clients and family caregivers as fairly as possible. Then they complain to our boss or worse yet, our boss’s boss. Suddenly someone we report to has made an exception for the patient and we feel disrespected and confused.
No, the patient doesn’t have to pay that bill. Yes, there can be eight family members in the hospital room when there’s supposed to be no more than two. A boundary that the organization set—and an employee enforced–has been overturned.
So often caregivers claim there is nobody to help them. But it’s important to remember that for nearly every condition a patient may face, there is a corresponding non-profit organization offering free and low-cost assistance.
My mom retired at the young age of 63 from the State of Alabama. She had been single longer than she was married, so her decision to leave Montgomery, Alabama and move elsewhere was not a surprise. My sister and I tried to persuade her to move closer to us; I was in a Baltimore suburb and Susan was in the Atlanta area. Our small hometown, though familiar, was not offering our mother the peace and relaxation she wanted. She did not have any ties keeping her local, but she didn’t want to move to a city with big city problems, big city traffic and big city prices. She had always enjoyed visiting her sister, so she eventually opted to move 15 minutes from her sister’s home in the mountains of western North Carolina. My mom was familiar with this new town from her annual visits. Before she moved, though, she—and other retirees in similar circumstances– have to consider the following:
When we don’t feel well, many of us head to the doctor to find out what’s wrong. Caregivers of sick or disabled older adults spend a lot of time shuttling loved ones to and from doctor’s offices. But it’s important to remember that your doctor is just one source for maintaining and/or improving overall health.