Family leaves grandmother in ER for a week

elder neglect

So the family – while visiting in Florida – threaten the hospital with media exposure. Well, they got their wish – media exposure. They have been exposed as narcissistic, self-centered low lives, more concerned about themselves than the welfare of their elderly grandmother. Personally, if it weren’t for the grandmother, I would love to see their names. A little public shaming may be just what the doctor ordered.

Perhaps equally as disturbing are the comments found below the story. Lots of blaming the system and whining about how nobody understands the burden caring for an elderly relative can be.

Well, I understand. I understand a generation that puts themselves first. A generation of selfish narcissists, who feels that the government and this means, you and I, as taxpayers are in place to solve their problems.

This doesn’t take much of an I.Q. to figure out; but apparently, younger members of the population, lack the I.Q. or common sense to understand that family members age and as they age, they may not be in a position to “plan” ahead.

Family is responsibility; it means looking ahead and understanding that there may be a time when an elder relative will need care – constant care perhaps. Nobody plans to break a hip, to suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s or other debilitating illnesses. Family should have a plan in place for the eventuality.

Lives will have to change. Work full time? Well, then – a change in job may be necessary in order to provide care for the family member in need. A change in lifestyle – scaling back. Selling a home in order to find something more suitable to this new reality. Florida vacations put on hold.

The elder relative is not society’s problem. The elder relative is the new life path for the family. It is no secret that long term beds are at a high premium. We have all known this for decades. We all know that outside help is expensive and hard to come by and so contingency plans are required. Family called in to help. It shouldn’t be an option.

I know, damn well, what it is like. My husband and I took it as a matter of course that one, if not all, of our parents would be our responsibility. In the end, there were only two that required any special care; my parents. My Dad required constant monitoring by a local hospital – blood transfusions, help around the home – then came dialysis and appointments at various hospitals and doctors. He passed before it became necessary for him to move in with us. His passing left my Mother alone; she could not be left on her own. We made the decision, with her, for a move to our home.

Was this something we dreamed of, the three of us? No. Our kids had moved out; for the first time, in our married lives, we were alone, as a couple. We saw ourselves living without the responsibility of caring for other human beings in our home. We envisioned dinners out, vacations away from the city in which we live. We were anticipating freedom. This was not to be and that’s life. My Mother needed a secure environment. She was not yet ill but she was depressed and grieving. She took a nasty fall in her home and no one was there. She put her home up for sale, my husband and son went about building a place for her in our home, something that would afford her some measure of independent living, yet security should anything occur.

We adapted, all three of us. My vacation time was eaten up by doctor’s appointments and other needs that surface when dealing with an elder relative. This went on for 3 years – Mom became very ill and I had to take off a great deal of time from work. There were no vacations away, there were no worry free dinners out. There were middle of the night calls for an ambulance. There were hours spent sitting beside her gurney in emergency rooms. There were days spent running back and forth from my job to hospital. But she would have done the same for me. We were family and this is what family’s do. It isn’t up to the hospital, to the nurses, the doctors and it certainly isn’t up to the government or taxpayer to care for a family member, a “presumed” loved one who sacrificed for us.

Had my employer objected to the time off I needed to care for Mom – I would have left the job. It was a contingency plan. But they hung in there, luckily and Plan B was never required.

So to all those commenters railing against the government and the health care system? What is wrong with you? What part of your nasty little brains does not understand personal responsibility? Plan for it – plan to have an elder relative as part of your nuclear family core. Plan to look after them and plan for the eventuality of long term care. Step away from your perception of being the center of the universe – step away from thinking that you have the RIGHT to a carefree vacation or personal life. You don’t. Your responsibility is to family, first. That isn’t up to me or up to the tax dollars that I pay to government. There are a lot of seniors in care facilities who could, very easily, be cared for by a family with a handle on the definition of humanity.

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One response to “Family leaves grandmother in ER for a week

  1. Pingback: Former millionaire, 92, says own children took his life savings | Wicked Emerald - Live From Montreal

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