In well over thirty years of nursing, I've witnessed many a change in the Healthcare arena.The obvious changes are still the subject for debate on many political agendas that includes treating patients who cannot affford the cost of much needed medical & healthcare insurances so vital to their recovery. And providing care to those people who just have no healthcare insurance.On the heelsof a dire need to provide cost effective healthcare, comes the stress of elderly people on medicaid & medicare attempting to pay out of pocket for expensive medications not fully covered by their insurance.
From where I'm standing as a nurse caught up in the trenches of helping to save lives, and ensure longevity, I see another culprit affecting so many people who are seniors.The fact is people are living longer these days. Some of my patients are folks in their 80s,90s, and even centurians of 101 years! We often marvel at these centurians who for all intent and purposes are waging a war against their own demise. But, what does this mean for their children, many of whom are reaching their golden years?
It appears that more seniors are caring for their ailing parent and family members than ever before! These sons and daughters come often to see their loved ones and attempt to assist the staff in their care and wellbeing. Many refuse to take the concerned nurses advice to stay home & rest a bit. Many have suffered from the physical & mental stress that comes withl taking on the roll of being the caregiver.
Many insist on taking their family membesr home, with the few allotted intervention for homecare or home visits from healthcare. Frequently during followup cases, nurses learn of a patent's readmittance to a long term care facility. A caregver suffering illnesses themselves and even death claiming the lives of seniors who leave behind the geriatric parent who has little or, no memory of their devotion.
At some point, America will wake up in all of this healthcare politiical rhetoric and remember that people are suffering. The question to ask and seek solutions for will be "Who will speak for the elderly as they die while trying to become caregiver to their own?"
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