America’s systematic abuse of its elderly

Drove by another of those faceless, nameless, warehouses for America’s elderly the other day. Oh sure, they actually do have nondescript and meaningless names. My favorite idiotic name belongs to a warehouse for the elderly in Salem, Oregon called ‘Hidden Lakes’.

Hidden Lakes of Urine would be more to the point. I once even worked at a joint with about 1/3 rehab, 1/3 elderly, and 1/3 chronic psych patients that renamed itself ‘Squire Knights’, a name about as idiotic as its incoherent and non-workable mixture was. Administration really has no sense of the ironic at all.

Many of these sad places have human castoffs in their early sixties caring for even more castoff folk in their later seventies and early eighties. Youngsters do the grunt work. It used to be that Lawrence Welk reigned supreme in the halls at these forlorn joints. I’m scared that it will soon be Paul McCarthy and the Rolling Stones that will reverberate. A standing joke with my kid is where I accuse her that she will eventually throw me soon into the basurero, Spanish for the garbage can or nursing home. My mom threw my grandmother there, and my mom now fears that one of her sons will do the same with her. American life is deadly.

I hate these dank, Haldo filled places. Have you ever noticed that none of them ever seem to have much outside them either? Usually just an ugly parking lot, or a minimal pretense of rustic ambiance at best. Mainly its just army green garbage receptacles for soaked diapers full of pee and shit. Inside there is stale smell, and blank looks of hopelessness. It’s the killing fields of America, and immediately outside is just about as bad.

How sad it is that our elderly are turned into assembly line products for Medicare and insurance fraud, even when the fraud is not held as official. Wipe their asses and turn q2hours, and give a feed 3xdaily of gruel. That’s ‘life’ in the capitalist dead lanes of our country. It’s all very, very sad and unnecessary. I have tears in my eyes for America’s elderly. No crimes ttey ever might have committed deserve a punishment such as they so many ultimately get.

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7 Responses to America’s systematic abuse of its elderly

  1. Avatar The 13th says:

    What a timely post.

    Beyond the “retirement centers” (places to discard the elderly) is the whole issue of health care versus insurance versus shell-games of responsibility.

    Last night I played “doctor ping-pong” with my mother. She has CPOD and has been suffering greatly with Colorado’s recent pollution/air inversion problems from this year’s winter.

    So a doctor advised if she can’t breath to go to a hospital. Good advice. If no air, “float” to a health care center near you. She called me last night in a moment of desp/air and we proceeded to follow “doctor’s orders” and took her to the ER.

    After about 3 hours of botched administrative procedures the preciding physician at the hospital determined that she was suffering anxiety, gave her tranqs, and released themselves from providing further care. Her personal physician, the one that advised the check-in, never arrived.

    More problems with her release. Her oxygen tank that she arrived with was now empty (no one shut off the valve). The hospital would not provide us with another tank to get her home with. I was hastily informed by staff that the hospital was not in the air-provider business. So we waited another hour for an on-call air technician to arrive.

    All this kicks back to insurance issues of course. Well-paid health workers proving capable only of condescending smiles while the patient and my patience lay in wait.

    American hospitals inspire Living Off the Grid. They only assist the elderly in one aspect… how to Unplug Life Support.

    I wonder if Canada (and other socialized healthcare countries) share the same dilemnas per age, vitality, and care. If anyone has experience with “outside US” care, I would love to hear about it.

  2. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    13th, your recent experience trying with your mom to access the medical system is so classic, so typical, and so utterly demoralizing to us all. Tens of millions of Americans have this same experience over and over again on at least a yearly basis, and many several times within a day or week. And your description of the hospital ‘customer service’ workers (using administrative lingo) is so depressingly typical. No doubt you will soon be receiving a form letter asking you to rate your experience, blah, blah, blah. Yes, the patient is actually called a customer in many hospitals these days!

    The whole American medical system drives people mad with outrage, yet we feel all so impotent to do anything about it. Worse yet is to hear numbskulls talking about the care being the best in the world , etc., when it clearly is not even close to being that.

    I just don’t get why we are not much more outraged about this abuse? Fact is, the system just doesn’t much care whether people live or die, and we should be pissed as hell about that. We pay a lot, and get back mainly a bunch of crap. It just seems unreal that we have so much cheerleading in the US with the gigantic misery that is all around us. And nowhere is that in more evidence in how our society mistreats the elderly infirm.

  3. Avatar jonah says:

    Or like the Tarrant County Hospital District Emergency Room in Ft Worth. (1500 South Main St, Ft Worth Texas, but the real criminals are the County Commissioners court, Corner of Belknap and Throckmorton I think)

    The week before my sister in law died, from the terminal stages of Hep C,
    my brother took her to the E R where she spent 28 hours waiting to see the doctors.

    They put her in the hospital for 5 days to stabilize her, then sent her home.

    2 days later, they called up my apartment, the Lab had gotten some really shocking numbers from her serology, said to bring her to the ER stat.

    Rather than call an ambulance, because we were all the way out in Euless 4 miles from the county line, I got this poor old yankee boy from Minnesota who was going with my niece to drive us in.

    We were in this older japanese sports coupe, I was in the back seat trying to compete with the sound of the motor and the wind (she was having respiratory distress), keeping her talking just to keep her breathing, missed our turn that would have taken us into the E R parking lot, so I got the kid to drive into the parking garage, he was staying with Delia while I went to get a wheelchair.

    The nurse at the desk told me they couldn’t send a wheelchair to the parking garage, twenty yards from the door, and that I would have to bring her to the front door.

    So me and the boy (me crippled myself) helped her in, one under each arm like a pair of human crutches, got her exactly inside the door, had her sit in the first chair and then managed to get a wheelchair.

    Then there was a bunch of “Oh, my God” reactions but strangely, no apology for the shitty treatment from the charge nurse.

    Delia died about 11 hours later. She would have anyway, she was terminal, but my God why do they have to treat somebody like that, especially at that time of her life?

    We should have called the ambulance, yeah, even though we couldn’t possibly have paid. Give the bill to the fucking county. Fucking bastards would have figured some way to take it out on the next patient in line though.

  4. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    Yeah, it’s the utter inhumanity of the entire thing that gets you. I work in this sordid environment myself and know well how sick it is. It always gets me all the crap about the returning veterans having ‘post stress syndrome’ for being bad boys and girls, etc. Such tear jerking concern they all have!

    But when was the last time you read an article about post stress syndrome in America’s Burn Wards, nursing homes, and ERs? With a Satanic Administration everywhere you can imagine just what it is to be a mere aide or nurse in these hellish environments, made all the worse by Big Business correct think. Our jobs are to control The Damned, and in America they are double, triple, quadruple The Damned. That’s to make double, triple, quadruple the profit off misery.

  5. The cases are related.

    When my grandma got slammed into a nursing home in Killeen, because after my grandpa died she signed a Power of Attorney over to my cousin (who, along with her sister who works at the nursing home, are kunt bitches from the depths of Hell), her Social Security was cut down to essentially nothing, her army widow’s pension had been cut already because she was on social security, she was left with the choice (made courtesy of my cousins, bless their nasty little ol’ hearts) of Medicare or CHAMPUS but not both. That would be “double dipping”.

    Grandpa had been on my case for 7 years since I had gotten out of the Air Farce to try to get back in, because of the retirement benefits packages.

    Oh, yeah, the Army really really took care of Grandma when her turn came…

    You know, that scandal at Walter Reed is only a tip of the problem.

    There are guys who came back from the Nam FUBAPOR.
    Messed Up Beyond Any Possibility Of Redemption.

    some of them are still living. Sort of.

    Mr Bush is also trying to cut their life support, but in a bizarre coincidence, not cut their actual life support.

    And of course the folks on The Other Side are just not even in his calculations.

    I shouldn’t say that, the creepazoid hasn’t made any calculations.

  6. Avatar The 13th says:

    My last visit to hospital prior to my mother’s was my own. My mother, who watches too much “shock-tv”, was worried over my persistant cough. Maybe it was vicodin-enduced, but silly her, she called 911 for a counselor. (gads mom!)

    The police arrived per my chain-smoking! They rather demanded a psychiatric evaluation upon witnessing several butts scattered at my front porch. (I saw several butts on my porch that night too!)

    Upon the shakedown of what drugs I was taking, one of the Blue Man Group members quipped I might overdose on Cialis. Yep, suicide by engorged penis. I was not in the mood for sexual harassment by eunuchs, but indeed a Smoking Gun had been found.

    I suggested the only college education they had was Magnum Cum Loudly, and furthered that at least the British police were brave enough to carry their sticks instead of point them.

    Tact had admittedly slipped.

    I was not allowed back in my house. Meanwhile, inside, other officers were trying to convince my wife to confess signs of violence. None exist. She’s loveable (hence the prescription!) but was pretty shaken that night by their methods.

    When the police (were these police?!?) took me to the hospital to “clear this up” – they did not even tell her. I was led down street in front of several neighbors though. I guess the charge was Disturbing the Codpeace.

    (Want to drive a cop crazy? Tell them you are capable of an erection without phallic metallics. Butt beware. Pun intended.)

    After 2 hours of ER wait at the hospital (once checked in I could not leave!), the hospital shrink, quite sane (and attractive!), released me in disgust at this detainment.

    Later upon reading the hospital release papers – there in handwritting – from my “sympathetic” shrink – I discovered the following…

    “Call us if you have anymore homicidal tendencies.” (What a nice thing to have on file!)

    I haven’t called yet. Choosing to bite the bullet and save the dimes. My smoking has doubled since the “forced” night of detainment…

    “Psycho-killer, Qu’est-ce que c’est? Better run run run run away.”

    (I’ve been itching to tell some of this story. Thanks Tony for knowing of Quality of Service hospital forms. Indeed mine came later in the mail. Chainmail, that is.)

    My mother, on the other hand, per her recent experience has been “scared straight”. She’s recovered, or at least, enough to choose a more private means of passing, if possible. (hi mom!).

    Nominal terminal Kervorkian Cryogenocide. Sometimes silence truly IS bravery.

    Back to the question I posed in my earlier comment… has anyone experience with healthcare outside the U.S.? Better? Worse?

  7. Avatar Tony Logan says:

    I haven’t had any direct experience with the medical system outside the country other than with excelent dentistry in Mexico, although that was for minor problems.

    Actually, much of the medical care in Mexico is as bad or worse than in the US, though done for a fraction the cost. My mother in law has diabetes and is getting terrible care for pennies there. Here, she would get terrible care for thousands upon thousands of dollars for the same condition. Mexico certainly doesn’t have better medical care than here, but it is often about the same for maybe a tenth or less the cost.

    However, my parents were in Europe every summer for years, and my dad fell and broke his hip once and got excellent treatment in Germany for the most minimal cost. Here, the doctors killed him by neglecting to adequately monitor his Coumadin levels. Coumadin is a blood thinner and poor monitoring of patients probably kills tens of thousands of Americans yearly.

    Anybody else with accounts of medical tx. outside the US?

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