I am mad!
I work as a caregiver to most people whom are well older than 65. And I am all about respect and allowing elders to do as they please as they have likely earned it. Many of them have worked hard to get what they have just like the rest of us. Many of the elders have family that has us there to help in day to day care and are responsible for medical care of their loved one -- NOT us - the caregiver.
But for the LOVE OF PETE!!!! DO NOT allow them to NEGLECT BASIC CARE!! To include their feet. Those toe nails still grow -- and they need trimmed and they need care if a nail gets ingrown!
I sat with a client last night that refuses to bathe. Luckily she's not a smelly kind of person but she will refuse to get up, she has days she refuses to eat, she will refuse to bathe and she "just wants to die". Well, hello?! I can understand not wanting to live sometimes -- but she truly is a SPOILED ROTTEN BRAT! And as a result of refusing even basic care she's got an ingrown toenail. (ingrown toenails HURT beyond belief!) She cried and wailed and boo hoo'd for HOURS! I can deal with her being up all night reading. I can deal with her being grouchy. I can deal with getting her snacks at any and all hours. I can even deal with her wanting to go walking the halls all hours of the night!
BUT I CANNOT deal with her wailing and gnashing and begging, "Please God Let ME DIE!"
And you people with training as a nurse or doctor -- DO NOT EVEN TELL ME I DON'T KNOW WHAT A DOCTOR KNOWS! For GOODNESS SAKE - I am a person with a God given gift called a BRAIN and contrary to POPULAR BELIEF I DO KNOW HOW TO THINK AND USE IT! (Unlike some doctors AND nurses who forgot basic thinking skills when they became a god! -- toss in rotten bed side manners and you really have a winner! NOT! By the way, if you are a nurse or a doctor and you have been told you have a bad bedside manner -- TOO BAD!)
My MIL of 58 yrs young died this last weekend and she fought with every bit of her being to stay alive. She wanted to live! She couldn't and doctors could do nothing to stop her progressive illness. She went to doctors and got care! And this client I sit with? no care whatsoever by her choice and she's still here! WHINING!
(I did tell her to stop saying to please let her die -- that really hit a very RAW nerve!)
Anyone know of patient advocates that look into cases like this?! This old gal refuses treatment but when does the caregiver or nurse on duty have a right to over ride the patient's wishes for things that really are basic needs and care? I can understand not wanting to take meds for say high blood pressure, or heart disease, or other "life threatening" long term medical conditions -- but for basic stuff like bathing, and hand, foot, hair and skin care?! Especially when neglecting these things leads to infections that are painful, non-life threatening and easily treatable?!
Update to add: My employer has been contacted and is making sure the client does get seen for her toe -- so that is being handled thankfully. I went so far as to say, "Ya know, someone needs to piss in clients wheaties and make her do something about her hygiene!" My employer giggled and agreed.