The inability of individual providers to coordinate care outside their expertise is alarming. Recently I helped a son whose mother had surgery and went for rehab at a nursing home. The surgery went well, however mom experienced a great deal of stress and anxiety which resulted in her reverting to past issues of mental health. The rehab facility, trying to be helpful, asked their physician and social worker (neither versed in mental health) to visit. Medications were prescribed that resulted in a psychotic event and subsequent emergency room visit. Despite requests from the son, the emergency room staff was unable or unwilling to help with a formal psychiatric evaluation and sent mom back to the nursing home now with the requirement of a 24 hour sitter because she was considered a “danger to herself”. Needless to say the son was flabbergasted and felt like he was failing to care for his mother. It’s unfortunate but these situations are becoming more prevalent. Individual providers are good at their expertise but due to time constraints, rules and regulations are unable to help beyond their expertise. If you are a family member don’t feel like you’re failing your loved one by going beyond your health care provider for assistance. Many times it’s necessary.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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