K’s grandma (and my adopted grandma) is in the hospital for pneumonia. Although she’s had pneumonia maybe dozens of times throughout her life, but her being 90 or 91 (she’s not sure) makes it riskier than ever. And that would be hard enough, but her being in the hospital makes it ten times worse. In my estimation, people get better despite being in hospitals, not because of it.

During the last decade or so, every time grandma goes into the hospital, she becomes delirious. When we visited her on Wednesday she was lucid and we mistakenly thought she would remain in this state. But when we arrived in her room last night, she was tied to her bed with a diaper on. Her gown was barely covering her.

What kind of world is it where they tie old folks down like this? She has no idea where she is — she’s full-on hallucinating — so she keeps trying to leave, and they are afraid she’ll fall down. I agree that is a serious concern, but you mean to tell me that the only solution available in 2008 is to tie her down? Why don’t they attach leeches and exorcise demons while they’re at it?

How is this not elder abuse? If she was found at home in this condition, we’d be carted off to jail. As The Clash said, “Murder is wrong, unless it was done by a policeman.”

The whole place is a living hell. There is barely a scrap of humanity left, and certainly no dignity. That being said, there were a few saintly nurses there, who were patient and caring with grandma despite the circumstances.

Here’s a reference
to a study on the overuse of restrains on the elderly.

…and a personal account which spells out how restraints do more harm than good.


One Response to “Our health care system disgusts me”

  1. K on October 4th, 2008 6:03 pm

    Word to your Gramma.

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