Do you feel that in General "Elder Care" is less than adequate?

@matlgal (1687)
United States
August 28, 2007 10:55pm CST
I don't want to get on a soap box on this but deem it worthy of discussion. As most of you know my Uncle recently passed away and he was 91 yrs. old. He lived in the same home for almost 70 years, same neighborhood and same Doctor for at least the last 10-15 years. He died of advanced "cancer of the esophagus" and his "doctor" didn't know he had it until 6 weeks before he died! How can that be? He had been going to this doctor about 1-2 times a month for over a year, He lost 50 lbs in 3 months. He couldn't eat anything because the tumor had completely closed off his esophagus. He refluxed with even the tiniest bit of water! I could go on and on, but yet this DOCTOR never ordered an Xray, or a blood test or anything. His standard reply was "Well he's 91, he's in pretty good shape for his age" ! I cannot even begin to tell you what I would like to do to that Doctor! I haven't completely given up on the thought of suing him for Elder neglect. But.... my point is How do you think our Health care is with regard to Elder Care? was this an isolated incident or is this possibly the way we treat our senior citizens? Oh just as a point here he had great insurance so it wasn't a money issue. What's your opinion on this very serious issue.?
3 people like this
3 responses
@Katlady2 (9925)
• United States
29 Aug 07
I think that our elderly are sadly neglected both personally and medically. That doctor should have pulled his head out of his rectum and gotten on the ball and had the right tests done on your uncle. I think if I were you I would hold that doctor personally responsible for all the suffering your uncle had to endure. Sad to say there are way too many doctors just like the one you dealt with that just don't seem to care for our elderly, and thus give them less than satisfactory medical care.
2 people like this
@matlgal (1687)
• United States
29 Aug 07
Love ya Kat- I love the way you put it! it's so true.! Thanks for your always honesty and thoughtful caring. Your right !
@coolseeds (3925)
• United States
29 Aug 07
A lot of people these days do not take pride in their work. I feel that a lot of doctors do it for the money without any concern for the people they treat. If your Uncle's doctor became a doctor to help people, he would have showed some effort to find the problem. I will not go to a doctor. They want too much money for the nothing that they give in return. I have studied botany. I make my own medicine.
@matlgal (1687)
• United States
29 Aug 07
I can see by reading the 6 comments on here so far that I have touched on something that is of serious concern to many, as I thought it would be. I think oyu hit most of it on the head with the comment on "Taking pride in their work". Doctors take an oath. But just as someone who is a secretary, or a jounalist, or whatever profession you have chosed - if you don't care about the quality of work you perform or have a work ethic then the results become as sloppy as your pride in what you have chosen. It's just so disheartening and I feel like a very small fish in a huge pond trying to swim upstream on this but I am serious that I am going to become a very loud advocate for better elder care and I have NO problem at all questioning something that I perceive as being negligent. Ok stepping down off the soap box again, thank you for your response I appreciate your taking the time.
@Cammeel1 (372)
• United States
29 Aug 07
Hi Matlgal. First would like to say I am sorry for your loss. In my opinion this is not an isolatd incident. I would encourage you to follow up with why this doctor did not order ultrasounds, swallow studies, and bloodwork. I almost didn't respond because I knew if I got started I would get my blood boiling. But I couldn't pass up a chance to share my thoughts. My thoughts are more along the lines of our nursing homes not as much as direct medical care from the patients physician. I no longer nurse but when I did, I worked in nursing homes and rehabilitation centers for the elderly. It all depends on your state, but each state has a set amount of hours that each patient must receive direct care from a nursing assistant and a nurse. More times than not these ratios of patient to caregiver are drastically high. It is not unheard of for the 11-7 shift nurse to be responsible for more than 30-60 patients. The nursing shortage that is taking over this country will undoubtedly effect our elders and the care that they receive. More directly to your situation where your uncle was under the care of a specific MD. It is so sad to say that some doctors will not follow up as closely with someone who is aging as they would with a younger adult. I have met some great doctors who work with the elderly and they care for and treat each one with the same diligence as they would anyone else. However I have met those who were blatant in their disregard. Whether it be a neice, a nurse or a child of the elder we must remain the advocates for their care and not be afraid to question the doctors actions or lack thereof. I hope you find some solace as you remember the full life that he lived. The good that you can bring to others by sharing your story and making others aware may help to save another elder from this undeniable lack of care.
@matlgal (1687)
• United States
29 Aug 07
Thanks Cammee - I can tell you had to leave the profession you loved because you felt you were cheating your patients. How discouraging for you. I am sorry that you were basically run out of a profession you obviously cared about. I believe that what you say is also true that there are good and bad doctors in this realm and I am hoping that there are more good then bad. Thank you for taking the time to share your story. I hear you on all counts, The workloads are horendous and the expectations are so unreasonable to do so. Thank you again for your time and well wishes.