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Old 09-04-2019, 06:35 PM
Saintly Loser is offline
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Vultures Preying on the Elderly


I’m pitting all the parasites and vultures who are trying to pick the bones of my father’s estate even before he’s dead.

Real estate brokers, lawyers, old age homes, nursing homes, memory care facilities, rehabilitation facilities, all of them, they’re vultures.

But especially the brokers and lawers.

They know, those pieces of shit, that he doesn’t have that much money. The lawyers know this especially, because they are (or were, until I fired this particular firm) handing some matters for him that involve knowledge of his financial situation.

I see an elderly, incompetent man in need of care. They see what they believe to be a pile of money, and with a bit of effort, they think they can get their hands on some of it. As much as possible.

The lawers are the worst. One firm in particular. I won’t name it here (although I will be naming it, and the lawyers who “worked” on my father’s matter) in great detail to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Department (the local authority for disciplinary matters).

Tip: If you’re a lawyer, and you handle a very simple matter for an elderly person, which mostly involves getting some forms signed, when you download those forms from the internet, don’t forget to delete all the [insert name here] and [his/her] and [he/she] variables before you present it to the client. And don’t follow up with a bill for ten thousand fucking dollars (seriously – at this lawyer’s billing rate, that’s 28 hours of work, which did not happen), hoping he’s so incompetent he won’t notice, but will pay the bill anyway.

And don’t blow me (the son, who has power of attorney) off if you’re representing the old man in the sale of his home. It’s no fucking excuse that you agreed to a flat rate for that transaction that you now think was too low. Too fucking bad. I happen to know that you are ethically obliged to represent your client just as zealously for that amout as you would for ten times that amount. And I shouldn’t have to field calls from other parties to the transaction telling me what I have to do and what fees I have to pay and what papers I need to produce. You’re the fucking lawyer. That’s your job.

And real estate brokers, at least here in New York, are thieves anyway. I don’t think this broker was after my father’s money, in particular, any more than anyone else’s, but she’s a thief. 6%, of slightly over one million dollars, for what was maybe twelve hours of work. Nice! But having your pals at the staging furniture company (from whom she absolutely got a kickback – I checked, and she did) deliver some broken-down, hideous shit that was about the same quality as what I could have picked up on the sidewalk in New York for free is just adding insult to injury. And, of course, there’s a three-month minimum. Some of the chairs that were delivered were so broken down they weren’t safe to sit on. And to hand on the walls, a couple of dingy Warhol reproductions? Sure, they looked fine in the photos. But in the real world? They looked like the junk they were. I could have purchased actual decent furniture, kept it for myself after the sale, and it would have been cheaper.

[Insert name here] in-patient rehab facility in New York? Their physical therapists did nice work. Absolutely. Their administration was a nightmare. They refused to communicate with me, even though I have my father’s health care proxy. They kept pushing and pushing him for a DNR order, to the point where he started to freak out. And, even though, upon admission, we went over the costs and what was covered by Medicare, they kept coming back with demands for more money that had to be paid right away, in cash. Well, by credit card.

Fuck them all. In a decent society, they'd all be hanging from lampposts. Fortunately for them, we don't live in a decent society.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:46 PM
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They kept pushing and pushing him for a DNR order, to the point where he started to freak out.
I'm curious about this point. In discussions about end of life planning, I've brought up the concern that seniors will be pushed to choose DNR, and have typically been told that that would not be a problem, that the problem is people NOT being allowed to make the choice. Does your father have any kind of end-of-life directive in place, such as one that says that he does want to be revived?

I'm sorry that you're going through all of this and having to deal with such unscrupulous people.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:29 PM
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I'm curious about this point. In discussions about end of life planning, I've brought up the concern that seniors will be pushed to choose DNR, and have typically been told that that would not be a problem, that the problem is people NOT being allowed to make the choice. Does your father have any kind of end-of-life directive in place, such as one that says that he does want to be revived?

I'm sorry that you're going through all of this and having to deal with such unscrupulous people.
This place very, very much wanted him to have a DNR order. At that point, he did not. On his very first day (night, really) there, as they were trasnsferring him from the ambulette that brought him there to his bed, they started hounding him for the order. And I mean hounding him. My brother and I, who were accompanying him, had to literally throw the supervising nurse, who was doing the hounding, out of the room.

Fucking bitch.

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 09-04-2019 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:43 PM
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I am very glad for your father that you and your brother are there for him.

Pity all us folks who are soon to be in those situations who have no-one to speak for us, no-one we trust to be disinterested and honest. I'm sometimes tempted to spend all my money now, or give it away, so that people like that can't get their hands on it.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:53 PM
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I'm curious about this point. In discussions about end of life planning, I've brought up the concern that seniors will be pushed to choose DNR, and have typically been told that that would not be a problem, that the problem is people NOT being allowed to make the choice.
Follow-up: In my experience, over the past few years, here in New York City, exactly the opposite is true. To varying degrees, every health care institution pushes for a DNR. My father has been hospitalized several times over the past few years (culminating in hospitalization last December from which he never returned home -- he now lives in a residential "memory care" facility), and, once it's determined that a patient will be admitted, the pressure for a DNR begins even before the patient is seen by a staff physician.

That pressure is, however, mild compared to the pressure exerted on my father upon arrival at the in-patient rehab place, though. That wasn't pressure, that was an outright attempt at coercion.

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Does your father have any kind of end-of-life directive in place, such as one that says that he does want to be revived?
He didn't, then. He does now, and it goes into detail about the circumstances in which he would or would not want to be revived.

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I'm sorry that you're going through all of this and having to deal with such unscrupulous people.
Thanks. He'll be okay. He's got people watching out for him. I've learned a lot about this whole thing in the last few years, and what happens to old and confused people who don't have someone looking out for them is absolutely terrifying. There really is a whole class of people out there who make a lot of money by preying on old people.
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:05 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I may be citing this thread in future discussions about end-of-life decisions.
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Old 09-05-2019, 05:39 PM
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I find it helpful to remember that the whole of the health care delivery industry, including all of the various flavors of nursing homes, have an underlying philosophy that when they see an elderly person enter, they assume that that person will leave in a pine box. To be fair, they develop this attitude from experience. But, it colors how they interact with the patient and family members. Certainly they provide sometimes heroic measures of medical care, but, y'know, underneath it all is the feeling of inevitability. And some care givers are better than others at navigating the interpersonal interactions with all of the interested parties, and some are worse.

At its ugliest, it's move-them-in and move-them-out and the longer they stick around the more they cost us. Hence the push for DNR in its various forms.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:39 PM
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Can I go off on a slight tangent, on the subject of greedy lawyers?

Five years ago, 9/12/14, my father was killed by an inattentive driver while on his motorcycle. He was 85 years old. This was a Friday afternoon, so while there was news about the accident, his name wasn't released to the media until the coroner saw him officially, Monday morning. Just over 24 hours later family was gathered at my mom's house, and a Fed Ex truck pulls up, with a package marked "legal documents" It was from a firm of lawyers in a town over two hours away, and the documents was a book titled "Winning a lawsuit with dignity" They didn't give a shit about my dad, only about the money they might make. I wrote them an ugly reply(scum of the earth was on phrase I used) and the book got recycled. Asshole ambulance chasers.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:58 PM
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I find it helpful to remember that the whole of the health care delivery industry, including all of the various flavors of nursing homes, have an underlying philosophy that when they see an elderly person enter, they assume that that person will leave in a pine box. To be fair, they develop this attitude from experience. But, it colors how they interact with the patient and family members. Certainly they provide sometimes heroic measures of medical care, but, y'know, underneath it all is the feeling of inevitability. And some care givers are better than others at navigating the interpersonal interactions with all of the interested parties, and some are worse.

At its ugliest, it's move-them-in and move-them-out and the longer they stick around the more they cost us. Hence the push for DNR in its various forms.
The actual care delivered to my father, by physicians, physical therapists and nurses (with a glaring exception involving two nurses at Beth Israel hospital, which may be the subject of another pitting later) was quite good.

It was administrators who behaved like greeding thieving shits.

And, especially, lawyers. Not that they had anything to do with the health care situation.

But lawyers. Fuck lawyers. Fuck the slimy, cheating, greedy shits who were retained to "help" my father.

Lawyers are in an extraordinary position of trust. Nobody except maybe physicians has as much power over a client/patient/whatever.

And lawyers like these (I mean you, Dave) are the reason people hate and distrust lawyers.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:01 PM
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Can I go off on a slight tangent, on the subject of greedy lawyers?

Five years ago, 9/12/14, my father was killed by an inattentive driver while on his motorcycle. He was 85 years old. This was a Friday afternoon, so while there was news about the accident, his name wasn't released to the media until the coroner saw him officially, Monday morning. Just over 24 hours later family was gathered at my mom's house, and a Fed Ex truck pulls up, with a package marked "legal documents" It was from a firm of lawyers in a town over two hours away, and the documents was a book titled "Winning a lawsuit with dignity" They didn't give a shit about my dad, only about the money they might make. I wrote them an ugly reply(scum of the earth was on phrase I used) and the book got recycled. Asshole ambulance chasers.
Yes. Ambulance chasers are a particularly low form of life. I met quite a few of them in the emergency room after my own motorcyle accident (and I'm sorry about your father's accident, that's terrible).

But I don't think they're as low as the lawyers who seek to get control over elderly people's affairs, through guardianships or powers of attorney, and rob them. Or just cheat them through billing unreasonably.

I mean, I'd rather sit down and have dinner with a pimp. Really.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:05 PM
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Saintly Loser, I actually agree with you. Even about having dinner! It's just that at that time I wanted so badly to lash out at someone, and that law firm was a perfect target. I mentioned, back then, my dad's death in a thread on the Dope, and quite a number of folks had interesting and innovative suggestions on what to do with the book. That made me feel better.
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Old 09-06-2019, 11:30 AM
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what was the story a couple of years ago where an elderly couple had their house taken from them by a lawyer who got power of attorney, forced them into a a retirement home, sold off all of their belongings before a family member could intervene?

I tried to google but didn't find anything.
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Old 09-06-2019, 01:24 PM
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what was the story a couple of years ago where an elderly couple had their house taken from them by a lawyer who got power of attorney, forced them into a a retirement home, sold off all of their belongings before a family member could intervene?

I tried to google but didn't find anything.
I believe you are remembering the guardianship scandal. There is a very good (but very harrowing) story from The New Yorker.
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:16 PM
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I believe you are remembering the guardianship scandal. There is a very good (but very harrowing) story from The New Yorker.
That article is demonstrating how Nevada (and probably other states) are literally sponsoring state-sanctioned elder abuse. This is the kind of thing that leads people not to trust the government and to resist giving the government more power to “take care” of them.

This pisses me off, and I myself work for a state government agency.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:10 PM
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I believe you are remembering the guardianship scandal. There is a very good (but very harrowing) story from The New Yorker.
I remember that story. I believe that in New York it's a bit tougher to outright steal someone's home like that than it is in Nevada.

But, to be sure, just for protection, a while back my father executed a nomination of guardian, which means that if he ever is adjudicated incompetenent and has a guardian appolnted, he will have chosen that guardian in advance, and it's me.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:14 PM
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I believe you are remembering the guardianship scandal. There is a very good (but very harrowing) story from The New Yorker.
I remember that, as I said above.

There are a bunch of scams that are routinely run on the elderly:

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york...dly-story.html

Or the much-advertised reverse mortgages, which are also pretty scammy.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:22 PM
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That article is demonstrating how Nevada (and probably other states) are literally sponsoring state-sanctioned elder abuse. This is the kind of thing that leads people not to trust the government and to resist giving the government more power to “take care” of them.

This pisses me off, and I myself work for a state government agency.
Yes. And it (rightfully) leads people not to trust the legal profession, either.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:43 PM
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My father has been ill and I've been staying with him. Which means I end up watching his TV shows, which are the type of shows old people watch.

And the commercials are disgraceful. At least half of them are designed to scare old people into buying their product. Some of them literally tell old people they will die a painful death if they don't buy their product.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:50 PM
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I believe you are remembering the guardianship scandal. There is a very good (but very harrowing) story from The New Yorker.
yep that was it.
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:56 PM
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My father has been ill and I've been staying with him. Which means I end up watching his TV shows, which are the type of shows old people watch.

And the commercials are disgraceful. At least half of them are designed to scare old people into buying their product. Some of them literally tell old people they will die a painful death if they don't buy their product.
Yep. I mean, those alert things are a good idea -- we got one for my father when he was still in his home -- but a lot of the advertising is simply terrorism.

Our experience with the medical alert system is actually almost comical. It served its purpose a couple of times -- once he fell out of bed, and another time he fell in the bathroom -- but as his dementia progressed, he starting thinking it was the best way to call me. So he'd hit the button when there was no emergency, and the whole response system would kick in. Not good. That's when it became clear that he had fairly advanced dementia. Up until then we thought he was just getting a bit forgetful.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:46 PM
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I find it helpful to remember that the whole of the health care delivery industry, including all of the various flavors of nursing homes, have an underlying philosophy that when they see an elderly person enter, they assume that that person will leave in a pine box. To be fair, they develop this attitude from experience. But, it colors how they interact with the patient and family members. Certainly they provide sometimes heroic measures of medical care, but, y'know, underneath it all is the feeling of inevitability. And some care givers are better than others at navigating the interpersonal interactions with all of the interested parties, and some are worse.

At its ugliest, it's move-them-in and move-them-out and the longer they stick around the more they cost us. Hence the push for DNR in its various forms.
I certainly wouldn't call my wife "elderly," although she is now old enough to collect Social Security if she ever decides to retire.

Anyway, she had to go into a rehab center/nursing home after spinal surgery last year. (Mainly because the hospital wanted to discharge her just three days after surgery, and she was in no condition to come home yet.) Anyway, other than needing to recover from major surgery, she was in relatively good health. Nevertheless, we repeatedly got asked about living wills and advanced directives. On one of the forms, it asked about a DNR order. I assume they are required to ask these things, but it was still jarring.
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Old 09-07-2019, 09:07 AM
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My 92 year old mother WANTED her DNR. She LOVES that little piece of paper. No pressure getting her to sign it, she repeatedly requested one. She makes sure that it’s in full view of all nursing home staff every day. When we take her to the house to spend holidays with us, she brings it with her and places the envelope in a prominent place on the coffee table and makes sure everyone knows about it. We are supposed to give it to the paramedics if she has a medical incident while out of the nursing home.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 09-07-2019 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:25 AM
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My 92 year old mother WANTED her DNR. She LOVES that little piece of paper. No pressure getting her to sign it, she repeatedly requested one. She makes sure that it’s in full view of all nursing home staff every day. When we take her to the house to spend holidays with us, she brings it with her and places the envelope in a prominent place on the coffee table and makes sure everyone knows about it. We are supposed to give it to the paramedics if she has a medical incident while out of the nursing home.
And that's fantastic. It's definitely for the good that competent elderly people are able to make their wishes for end-of-life care known, and that those wishes are, to some degree, enforceable.

That said, the pressure I have seen put on elderly people to sign a DNR is disgusting. And it's always a form DNR written by the health care institution at that, with no regard to what the patient might actually want.

The patient, who is quite likely not in a position to read and comprehend a critical document, gets a piece of paper waved in front of him or her, by an administrator or nurse demanding that the patient sign it. The patient may believe that he or she is obligated to sign the paper to receive care. Certainly the institution does nothing to discourage that incorrect belief.

When my father was admitted to the in-patient rehab facility described above, the nurse demanding the DNR was not going to leave without it. It was obvious that this was the policy of the institution. And if my brother and I had not been there, she would have gotten it, too. Fortunately, after her repeated attempts at coercion, my brother and I were there to throw her out of the room.

And don't get me started on what hospitals do to get patients to sign various kinds of consents to treatment, or commitments to pay certain bills. It's staggeringly dishonest.
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Old 09-07-2019, 10:32 AM
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I am very glad for your father that you and your brother are there for him.

Pity all us folks who are soon to be in those situations who have no-one to speak for us, no-one we trust to be disinterested and honest. I'm sometimes tempted to spend all my money now, or give it away, so that people like that can't get their hands on it.
I'm really sorry. There are things you can do now to protect yourself later. I mentioned a nomination of guardian below. You can set up your end-of-life care directives now. There are things you can do to protect your assets now.

What you need, of course, is a good, trustworthy lawyer. Unfortunately, that's kind of a unicorn, but there may be one out there. And these matters aren't usually complicated. They're routine for any lawyer who specializes in elder law and, depending on where you live, shouldn't cost that much.

I'd advise that you find a lawyer through word-of-mouth recommendations, i.e., a lawyer who's done work for someone you know and trust, and done a good job at a reasonable price. I'd recommend that you try to negotiate a flat rate with that lawyer, because the hourly billing system is nothing but an invitation to thievery.
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Old 09-07-2019, 11:17 PM
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My 92 year old mother WANTED her DNR. She LOVES that little piece of paper. No pressure getting her to sign it, she repeatedly requested one. She makes sure that it’s in full view of all nursing home staff every day. When we take her to the house to spend holidays with us, she brings it with her and places the envelope in a prominent place on the coffee table and makes sure everyone knows about it. We are supposed to give it to the paramedics if she has a medical incident while out of the nursing home.
I screwed up on that once. Had a prisoner die and I gave him CPR until the ambulance arrived. It then turned out he had a DNR on file so I shouldn't have done CPR.

But I was able to beat it because I wasn't part of medical staff (even though I supervised them) so I wasn't supposed to have access to his medical information.
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:30 AM
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In many states, including the one I practice in (WI) the law doesn't allow a person to be made DNR unless they are a 'qualified' patient, i.e. one with a condition which causes them to be expected to die within 6 to 12 months (>50% likelihood). So we don't end up putting DNR bracelets on folks unless the writing is truly on the wall for them. Now many do live longer than that, as there are outliers, but that's the rule here.

Patients of course are encouraged to have living wills and advanced directives spelling out what they do and don't want should they become terminal or incapacitated, and those are honored, and do result in DNR status for lots of folks when they do reach such dire straits.

And don't get me started on lawyers and the elderly . . .

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Old 09-08-2019, 04:12 AM
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I couldn't agree more with the theme of the posts about arseholes in the industry of the elderly. However there are some decent ones- my mothers solicitor drove to her nursing home to have her sign an amendment to her will and never tried to take her funds. The Nursing Home was a disaster and I despise the lazy bastards who pose as carers and the Administration of the place.
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:25 AM
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I couldn't agree more with the theme of the posts about arseholes in the industry of the elderly. However there are some decent ones- my mothers solicitor drove to her nursing home to have her sign an amendment to her will and never tried to take her funds. The Nursing Home was a disaster and I despise the lazy bastards who pose as carers and the Administration of the place.
I couldn't agree more. And, by and large (with a few exceptions), my father's actual caregivers, ranging from physicians to home aides, have been fantastic.

It's the people who are involved with the money who tend to be unbelievable bloodsucking pieces of shit. There, the situation is reversed. The good ones (like your mother's lawyer) are the exceptions.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:34 AM
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Anyway, she had to go into a rehab center/nursing home after spinal surgery last year. (Mainly because the hospital wanted to discharge her just three days after surgery, and she was in no condition to come home yet.) Anyway, other than needing to recover from major surgery, she was in relatively good health. Nevertheless, we repeatedly got asked about living wills and advanced directives. On one of the forms, it asked about a DNR order. I assume they are required to ask these things, but it was still jarring.
In IL, at least, it's required. I got asked all those questions before going into leg surgery at the age of 28!
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Old 09-08-2019, 12:57 PM
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In many states, including the one I practice in (WI) the law doesn't allow a person to be made DNR unless they are a 'qualified' patient, i.e. one with a condition which causes them to be expected to die within 6 to 12 months (>50% likelihood). So we don't end up putting DNR bracelets on folks unless the writing is truly on the wall for them. Now many do live longer than that, as there are outliers, but that's the rule here.

Patients of course are encouraged to have living wills and advanced directives spelling out what they do and don't want should they become terminal or incapacitated, and those are honored, and do result in DNR status for lots of folks when they do reach such dire straits.

And don't get me started on lawyers and the elderly . . .
A few months ago, in WI, I went into respiratory distress and ended up in ICU. I was adamant that I be made DNR and the doctor agreed. I got a bracelet.

I was 48 and had no life threatening chronic conditions but my situation was serious enough that they were preparing to intubate.

I explained that I've been an ICU nurse for 20 years, I fully understand that I could die, but I absolutely refused intubation, CPR, or defibrillation. They could try anything else but if it came to death, please make me comfort care (i.e. give me some drugs to ease my distress).

The doctor even ordered magnesium sulfate at my suggestion.

The patient has a right to refuse treatments they don't want.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:29 PM
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The patient has a right to refuse treatments they don't want.
This is true, and such refusals should not require a DNR bracelet, and must legally be honored when spelled out as you did.

The actual statute 154.17 about who's a qualified patient reads as follows:
Quote:
(4) “Qualified patient" means a person who has attained the age of 18 and to whom any of the following conditions applies:
(a) The person has a terminal condition.
(b) The person has a medical condition such that, were the person to suffer cardiac or pulmonary failure, resuscitation would be unsuccessful in restoring cardiac or respiratory function or the person would experience repeated cardiac or pulmonary failure within a short period before death occurs.
(c) The person has a medical condition such that, were the person to suffer cardiac or pulmonary failure, resuscitation of that person would cause significant physical pain or harm that would outweigh the possibility that resuscitation would successfully restore cardiac or respiratory function for an indefinite period of time.
There's wiggle room in parts (b) and (c) for a doc to declare resuscitation futile or harmful. Which is great for patients who wish to be made DNR. But goes against the spirit of health care when the patient's not ready for DNR status.

Glad you survived your ordeal!
  #32  
Old 09-08-2019, 07:51 PM
HollieHobby is offline
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Thank you for citing the statute. It's especially confusing when laws are different from one state to another. I'm an IL resident but was hospitalized in WI. I also worked in ICU in WI for 10 years.

I was grateful my caregivers followed my wishes. A patient who wants to be a full code has equal rights. Pressuring a patient either way is wrong, of course.

Our role should be to educate so the patient understands the choices, never
to coerce.

P.S. as a long time secret fan of yours, I wish YOU were my doctor.
  #33  
Old 09-08-2019, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HollieHobby View Post
P.S. as a long time secret fan of yours, I wish YOU were my doctor.
Well, you DO know that you need to be a convicted felon who's currently incarcerated in a WI prison to get me as your doctor, right?
  #34  
Old 09-09-2019, 10:39 AM
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Totally worth it.

Regards,
Shodan
  #35  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:29 AM
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Actually, I did know that. Maybe I should have thought that through a little more.
  #36  
Old 09-11-2019, 06:45 PM
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Before this thread falls off completely, I do want to point out that vultures do serve a valuable ecological role in this world. By consuming larger chunks of the dying and dead, they speed up the process of natural/organic recycling greatly. In areas of the world where vultures have been hunted enough to reduce their numbers, significant problems are occurring when floods/droughts/etc. cause massive large animal die-offs. Rotting carcasses abound, polluting the waterways, stinking up the landscape for excessive periods of time. Small carrion eaters just cannot manage to fulfill the role of the vulture adequately.

So let us restrict the animus to those human vultures who torment the weak and dying members of our tribe.

  #37  
Old 09-11-2019, 06:49 PM
Ludovic is offline
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Originally Posted by HollieHobby View Post
Actually, I did know that. Maybe I should have thought that through a little more.
Life goals!
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