Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Best Hospital Geriatric Department Visit

Unless it's an emergency, simply deciding to take a major step to help parents age well often takes time.  And once the decision is made, additional time may be necessary before an aging parent receives help.

My July 17th post, "Aging Parents, Best Hospitals, 16 Specialties, 5 Reasons to Consider Them," encouraged at least one adult child to make an appointment at Mt. Sinai, ranked #1 in geriatrics. Her email:

Hi Susan,
Just wanted to let you know that it took a while to get my mother (age 90) an appointment at the Martha Stewart Living Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital but it was well worth the wait.  Her evaluation was quite thorough.  It took over two hours.  Some of her medications were changed; the geriatrician recommended that she start physical therapy again; and consulted with her primary physician.

Today I visited her and asked her how she was feeling
with her new medications.  She said she no longer felt “foggy” and “sleepy” and that this new drug helped the chronic pain she was feeling. What was this drug?  Tylenol! It replaced the potent pain killer she had been taking.  Thank you for bringing this geriatric clinic to my attention.  We go back for a follow-up in a few months.  Karen

PS. She loved the geriatrician who treated her with such respect and interest.  He paid attention to everything she said, did not rush and really treated her like a person. It was so wonderful for me to see her treated so well.

Dear Karen,
Thank you for sharing your--and your mother's--experience.  It sounds like it may often be necessary to wait for an appointment. That's helpful to know. And it's wonderful to know that your elderly mother is feeling alert, has less pain and "loved" the geriatrician.  Susan
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Because many caring children with aging parents are on fast forward and overload, it's understandable that we put off initiating certain things that may help our parents--until it's a crisis.  It sounds like Karen didn't wait for a crisis.  So like Karen, we may save our parents discomfort and ourselves precious time if we just "do it."

Visit my .com site at: http://helpparentsagewell.com

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