Two tales of elder abuse

Messages
2,081
Location
California
I don't consider myself "elderly" although I'm no youngster. But the things that are done to old people are sometimes truly horrifying. My mother-in-law was killed by incompetent doctors. Warning, this gets gruesome. She was 85, and was admitted to the hospital with an apparent bowel blockage. My wife could feel a lump in the area of her descending colon, so that would appear to make sense. The doctors didn't believe it. One of them said something to the effect of, "Well, by God, she's going to poop." He loaded her up with laxatives. Within a day or so, she had a ruptured diverticulum in the area of the sigmoid colon. The surgeon performed a colostomy, but he screwed it up. Cut the mesenteric artery, and also left the colostomy too short so that it receded. So he had to do it again. She never regained consciousness. My wife and I had to make the decision to pull the plug. Not a great feeling. Before she died, knowing that she had serious reflux issues, the hospital served her tomato soup and other acidic foods. She had the worst reflux attack I've ever seen. I asked the nurses for something to alleviate the situation and got no response for maybe twenty minutes. I then went to the nurses station and demanded help. I told them I was not leaving until I saw action. Fortunately there was someone there who had an ounce of human kindness and took care of the situation. She was very nice, and moved quickly. Everyone else seemed to have the attitude of, "She's just an old fat woman, so what's the big deal?" Now I've read maybe the most horrifying story of elder abuse I can imagine. A woman named named Rebecca Zeni died from a scabies infestation in a nursing home. There is absolutely no excuse for such a thing to happen. My wife works for a public school district, so I know a lot about scabies. Scabies are nasty, and curable. They burrow under the skin, which causes severe itch, and lay eggs under the skin. I can't imagine a scabies infestation going on for so long that it causes blood poisoning and death. The medical examiner who looked at her said he was leaning toward homicide by neglect. She had dementia, which was why she was in the nursing facility. I can't imagine the suffering she experienced. My own mother died from a brain tumor. For the most part, her decline and passing was peaceful; it wasn't the kind of brain tumor that is overly painful. However, she did suffer some abuse at the hands of one of her hospice nurses. This nurse thought the solution to every problem was morphine. My mother didn't react well to morphine, and would become agitated. Fortunately, we finally got someone from the hospice to listen, and she was able to pass from this life peacefully. The nursing home she was in for the last two weeks of her life was very much the opposite of the above facility. When she finally did pass, I went down to see her, and they had made the bed up and folded her hands so that she looked at rest.
 
Messages
5,195
Location
NJ
Originally Posted By: madRiver
Some sad stories. The first was not elder abuse but misdiagnosis. Abuse has will to hurt others which there was none of there.
It's a type of abuse because of lack of caring. Abuse/neglect are not necessarily about the will to hurt but about the lack of caring.
 
Messages
9,962
Location
MA
Unfortunately hospital errors are the 3rd leading cause of death. The first story would also fall under hospital errors. They kill lots of other people who aren't elderly.
 
Messages
7,849
Location
MI
Those are heart wrenching stories. Health care facilities of all types are hit or miss regardless of age. Like getting your car worked on or anything else done by others, often it boils down to the people actually doing the work during your visit. One time it can be fantastic, the next it can be disastrous. It can be frightening. My wife has had numerous health problems since a head on car accident 10 years ago. Just this past February, she almost died again from abdominal problems. I drove her to the emergency room this time because it didn't seem life threatening. After fours hours waiting and every thing possible I could imagine to get her admitted, I had to threaten to call an ambulance to take her to another hospital. We eventually got her in and emergency surgery followed just two hours later. Yea, it happens more than one would think. Both my daughters are nurses, one a home health care nurse for the elderly. She's disgusted by some of the things she finds done by her colleagues. Bottom line is that you have to be a VERY strong self advocate for yourself and loved ones. Many elderly don't have any support.
 
Messages
1,719
Location
Toronto
Pre- or suffix anything with the word "care" and suddenly they can be abusive and negligent with impunity. Health'care'? Pharma'care'? Apple'care'? Care care care, here, get your care here!! Fresh hot cares!! Only fiiiiiiive dollars! "Care" facilities- where elderly people meet their great reward of being treated like factory-farm livestock. What a world. The 'care' ain't cheap either, oh no it comes at top dollar. Nobody cares for free anymore, and even some of the ones that do it for profit hardly actually care. Those are terrible stories, no doubt, but entirely reflective of the Orwellian age we live in. I'd speculate a GOOD BIT MORE elder abuse goes on that ever sees the light of day.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
12,884
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I just went through this with my grandma. It's unbelievable how horrible people in healthcare can be, as well as how wonderful. Usually wonderful, but the horrible things are more memorable. My grandma fell in her home last Thanksgiving and broke her neck. The fire department didn't put a neck brace on her and they slid her across the floor and leaned her up against the wall. Then they put her in an office chair to sit alone which she was falling out of, I won't go into more detail. She was a quadriplegic from this incident. She was in the hospital for surgery and a rehab facility in the hospital, those people were wonderful, absolutely incredible. I couldn't be more thankful for them. She then went into a skilled nursing center that despite being rated high online and by Medicare, was terrible. We fought them daily, I was there every single day during this entire thing and fought them for decent care. She choked on water and aspirated because they didn't help her eat and drink, and then she got the flu in there. The aspiration caused pneumonia and she with the combination of other things, we lost her in January. I feel so bad for those people in nursing homes and hospitals that don't have an advocate, someone to stand up for them and help keep track of their care.
 
Messages
43,651
Location
'Stralia
My sister has been nearly taken out a number of times by staff who don't accept that when she states anaphylaxis in response to Latex rubber, she means it. Older guy in the rifle club wasn't able to have his regular meds by mouth due to complications with diabetes , so some bright spark ground them up and injected him with them...major "overdose" as the drug went straight into the blood, plus floating "fillers". BIL saw a guy murdered on the operating table when the wrong branch of the aorta was cut during a cancerous lung removal. MIL was looked after amazingly by her oncologist, preciseley to the point that it came back, and was inoperable...he wouldn't even see her after that.
Originally Posted By: Olas
Modern medicine prolongs the body past the point that it was designed or evolved to last for
I disagree. Modern medicine is exactly where I want to be in the event of a road accident, keeping me alive and reconstructing me. Modern medicine when it comes to the everyday is about making money, making more money (off label uses of drugs), making MORE money (moving goalposts on what is "normal") and risk transference (between the doctor and you, and present you to future you *) (*) Imagine what for example Cancer treatment would look like if the "successful" outcome was based on a 10 or 20 year survival reuirement, not 5 ?
 
Messages
9,013
Location
Virginia
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ True indeed Mr. Nice. Very true. kI have wondered when I held my arm around Ms. B one night about the following... How many times a day when people handle and take care of this 100 yr old lady does she feel like they give a darn??? It really hit me one night being with her. I talked to her all the time every time when I did stuff for her. She certainly recognized my voice. She did not talk much at all. One time I had helped her with something and she said thank you plain as day... I hadn't heard that lady speak for about 5 months up until that point. I just about fell over. It reminded me of in huge fact..... They ARE still there. They hear and feel how you talk to them... How you touch them... They hear what tone and how you really speak to them. There were numerous times where I would give Ms. B her evening medications and have my arm around her talking to her. Many times she would lean into me as I talked to her. It was really something. One evening as I was about to leave she very purposely reached out and grabbed my hand and pulled it up to her and she kissed the back of my hand. It really was neat. I said this in another thread.... Guys it is a heck of a deal when a lady who knows their time is exceptionally short and they tell you that they love you. That's a tremendous honor. I feel like it is my purpose, commission, and command to love those people like they are my own family. I know that a certain percentage of people I work with certainly don't handle that circumstance that way. Though that number was worse when I worked in the hospital.... I just try to do it my way. The way I would want to have wanted my mother, father, grandmother or grandfather treated. They are worth it.
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,443
Location
New England
Originally Posted By: Leo99
Originally Posted By: madRiver
Some sad stories. The first was not elder abuse but misdiagnosis. Abuse has will to hurt others which there was none of there.
It's a type of abuse because of lack of caring. Abuse/neglect are not necessarily about the will to hurt but about the lack of caring.
Interestingly it is not that. Just like everything some people are really good at their jobs while others not so much or just make errors. My wife works in health care at physical therapist in patient hospital setting. She at her humble level but 25 year experience level catches things and humbly reports back to Dr of patients going home.
 
Messages
3,463
Location
Coastal South Carolina
Originally Posted By: Stelth
I don't consider myself "elderly" although I'm no youngster. But the things that are done to old people are sometimes truly horrifying. My mother-in-law was killed by incompetent doctors. Warning, this gets gruesome. She was 85, and was admitted to the hospital with an apparent bowel blockage. My wife could feel a lump in the area of her descending colon, so that would appear to make sense. The doctors didn't believe it. One of them said something to the effect of, "Well, by God, she's going to poop." He loaded her up with laxatives. Within a day or so, she had a ruptured diverticulum in the area of the sigmoid colon. The surgeon performed a colostomy, but he screwed it up. Cut the mesenteric artery, and also left the colostomy too short so that it receded. So he had to do it again. She never regained consciousness. My wife and I had to make the decision to pull the plug. Not a great feeling. Before she died, knowing that she had serious reflux issues, the hospital served her tomato soup and other acidic foods. She had the worst reflux attack I've ever seen. I asked the nurses for something to alleviate the situation and got no response for maybe twenty minutes. I then went to the nurses station and demanded help. I told them I was not leaving until I saw action. Fortunately there was someone there who had an ounce of human kindness and took care of the situation. She was very nice, and moved quickly. Everyone else seemed to have the attitude of, "She's just an old fat woman, so what's the big deal?" Now I've read maybe the most horrifying story of elder abuse I can imagine. A woman named named Rebecca Zeni died from a scabies infestation in a nursing home. There is absolutely no excuse for such a thing to happen. My wife works for a public school district, so I know a lot about scabies. Scabies are nasty, and curable. They burrow under the skin, which causes severe itch, and lay eggs under the skin. I can't imagine a scabies infestation going on for so long that it causes blood poisoning and death. The medical examiner who looked at her said he was leaning toward homicide by neglect. She had dementia, which was why she was in the nursing facility. I can't imagine the suffering she experienced. My own mother died from a brain tumor. For the most part, her decline and passing was peaceful; it wasn't the kind of brain tumor that is overly painful. However, she did suffer some abuse at the hands of one of her hospice nurses. This nurse thought the solution to every problem was morphine. My mother didn't react well to morphine, and would become agitated. Fortunately, we finally got someone from the hospice to listen, and she was able to pass from this life peacefully. The nursing home she was in for the last two weeks of her life was very much the opposite of the above facility. When she finally did pass, I went down to see her, and they had made the bed up and folded her hands so that she looked at rest.
america has lots of money (think 100s of millions to Pakistan etc) to give the foreign nations but not any leftovers for our old people.
 

Stelth

Thread starter
Messages
2,081
Location
California
I do consider the case of my mother-in-law to contain elements of elder abuse. The surgeon may be an incompetent boob, but I'll bet you he tries harder on younger, better looking, or wealthier patients.
 
Messages
9,032
Location
Marshfield , MA
Dad scrimped and saved and left behind a sizable amount. Then one day at 87 he fell while running his Gravelly. Hit his head. It caused a subdural hematoma and the blood thinners he was on were a complication. Dad died after 2 days. His congestive heart failure made operating too risky. Ma struggles on. She is comfortable,alert but her bones are melting away. She will be 98 on Monday. My sister is a licensed financial advisor, when Mum moved from assisted living into a highly rated local nursing home. On paper, the place was great. Except that it wasn't. It was all smoke and mirrors. Luckily, my brother's wife mentioned the private care place her father was in for the end of his days. What a difference. Because we're local, five of us visit her weekly. The physical plant is top notch. The building is pushing 60 yrs old. The place is neat, the grounds are beautiful. The staff is mostly older women who have been there for ages. The kitchen is first rate. The menus are good and the food, while institutional and on the bland side. Every so often, I'll have a lunch. Good stuff. My sibs and I marvel at the little touches we see when we visit. Ain't cheap but worth every cent.
 

Al

Messages
19,154
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
Unfortunately hospital errors are the 3rd leading cause of death. The first story would also fall under hospital errors. They kill lots of other people who aren't elderly.
These statements are very misleading and are propagated by ambulance chasers. 99% of these patients would die without the treatment that is available on 10% of this planet. Of course there are mistakes. Doctors are people and make mistakes like all of us. Folks like me that have spent careers in a technical job have made thousands of mistakes. Had we been in a capacity where patients lives were on the line many folks would have died under our care. Does that mean we didn't care? Of course not. It means..we could have done better on another day on another patient. And of course there are doctors who can't tie their own shoes. But the above statement is ludicrous. Its not a reflection on you but on the scum-bag ambulance chasers who perpetuate it.
 
Last edited:
Messages
9,962
Location
MA
Originally Posted By: Al
Originally Posted By: Wolf359
Unfortunately hospital errors are the 3rd leading cause of death. The first story would also fall under hospital errors. They kill lots of other people who aren't elderly.
These statements are very misleading and are propagated by ambulance chasers. 99% of these patients would die without the treatment that is available on 10% of this planet. Of course there are mistakes. Doctors are people and make mistakes like all of us. Folks like me that have spent careers in a technical job have made thousands of mistakes. Had we been in a capacity where patients lives were on the line many folks would have died under our care. Does that mean we didn't care? Of course not. It means..we could have done better on another day on another patient. And of course there are doctors who can't tie their own shoes. But the above statement is ludicrous. Its not a reflection on you but on the scum-bag ambulance chasers who perpetuate it.
It's an interesting theory, but those numbers come from John Hopkins and other journals and papers. Where's your evidence that it comes from ambulance chasers? Incidentally they don't have a very good success rate, when I worked at a law firm that did insurance defense including medical malpractice, the win/loss ratio was more like 2/3 doctors, 1/3 patients. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/med...death_in_the_us https://journals.lww.com/journalpatientsafety/Fulltext/2013/09000/A_New,_Evidence_based_Estimate_of_Patient_Harms.2.aspx
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
12,884
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: bbhero
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ True indeed Mr. Nice. Very true. kI have wondered when I held my arm around Ms. B one night about the following... How many times a day when people handle and take care of this 100 yr old lady does she feel like they give a darn??? It really hit me one night being with her. I talked to her all the time every time when I did stuff for her. She certainly recognized my voice. She did not talk much at all. One time I had helped her with something and she said thank you plain as day... I hadn't heard that lady speak for about 5 months up until that point. I just about fell over. It reminded me of in huge fact..... They ARE still there. They hear and feel how you talk to them... How you touch them... They hear what tone and how you really speak to them. There were numerous times where I would give Ms. B her evening medications and have my arm around her talking to her. Many times she would lean into me as I talked to her. It was really something. One evening as I was about to leave she very purposely reached out and grabbed my hand and pulled it up to her and she kissed the back of my hand. It really was neat. I said this in another thread.... Guys it is a heck of a deal when a lady who knows their time is exceptionally short and they tell you that they love you. That's a tremendous honor. I feel like it is my purpose, commission, and command to love those people like they are my own family. I know that a certain percentage of people I work with certainly don't handle that circumstance that way. Though that number was worse when I worked in the hospital.... I just try to do it my way. The way I would want to have wanted my mother, father, grandmother or grandfather treated. They are worth it.
bbhero, I'd like to thank you for what you do. With the situation we were in with my grandma, we had some wonderful nurses, I honestly can't describe how wonderful some of them were, as well as her physical therapist.
 
Top