Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Health Care Advocates for Mom and Dad

The Milwaukee Business Journal writes than an increasing number of adult children are becoming advocates for their aging parents’ health care needs. This is having an impact on employers as these advocates are present at work, but preoccupied.

I’ve found that I need to be increasingly involved with Mom’s health care needs. She doesn’t hear well, nor does she understand much about the complexities of her medical needs. She nods like she understands, but if I challenge her, she really doesn’t know what the doctor said or what it means. To top it off, she’s what we used to call the “worried well”—people with minor health issues who are convinced they have cancer, heart problems, or something equally serious.

I’ve taken to having her make as many appointments as possible in a two-day period when I can plan to be there. It tires her, but we sure get a lot done. Recently we saw the podiatrist, the hearing aid specialist, and the neurologist. In each case, the problem was less serious than she had been telling me it was, based on her understanding of what they had told her last time. We got a lot done in a little time and I was so glad I was able to go. And this time, we even had time to take her for a drive!

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