Reassurance for out of town family
When my aging mother began to decline and require closer medical supervision, I lived many hours away. As not only a worried daughter, but also a “nurse daughter”, this distance became almost unbearable to me. I had family members that lovingly visited her, provided all the support that she and my Dad needed; yet I felt the sting of distance. I realized how much I needed to see her first hand, to be assured of the medical assessments and orders for her care. That, combined with my love and need to be with her, caused me true anguish.
Later, as she was cared for in hospice, my own hospice background created a vigilance within me. I know well how each medical professional has their own perspective of using medical orders; that each professional has their own beliefs that guide their assessment of needed interventions. Each time that I came to visit Mom, I found her symptoms were obvious to me and needed attention. I felt kick back from the staff at her nursing home, delayed intervention from the hospice group that were in charge of her orders, and I was both verbally and non-verbally accused of somehow creating the physical needs that these other professionals had not noticed.
Since publishing Sally: A Memoir, I have developed a service line for others going through similar care situations. It is my passion to assist other families with aging parents that live many miles away, or that are going through serious illness or expected death. I offer my services independently as a Care Coordinator, accompanying clients to medical testing and treatment. I also attend medical appointments with the client, record the physician’s treatment options and plans as medically presented. The client can then hear the accurate information repeated often as needed, and I am able to share it with those worried loved ones living out of the area as the client directs.
I find that, as with all difficult things we live through, I can use my own experiences to help others. Loving our family, especially our parents as they age, is all encompassing. Learning to gently and compassionately parent them while they continue to make their own choices, has shown me what true love really is about. And to include healthcare choices creates a mandatory need to have an advocate to assure my love is translated into appropriate care.