Since my mom’s recent death I am still convinced that families and religious organizations need to develop more systems for support. One of the systems needed is education and enhanced visitation of the elderly when they are in the hospital. We are often concerned, as we should be, about correcting the chronic or critical health condition. But other stuff can also happen like confusion and decline in the mental status of our loved one that MAY NOT be dementia.
I saw this happen many times with my mom. One night when I was not at her bedside, she took her IV out and thank goodness a visitor to her roommate alerted the staff. When I arrived all the blood was already cleaned up and she was telling me about it in a state of shock.
I know we cannot be with our loved ones all the time. But if only a respite system was in place in all our families to rotate sitting with our loved ones to keep them focused and notice changes that we need to advocate for medical intervention-that would help a lot.
Here are two articles I want to share with you on delirium in the hospital.