Thursday, November 7, 2013
My dad needed help but he refused to go to the doctor. My sister went to the doctor to ask for help and advice. His answer--call an ambulance. We both knew this was not the thing to do. Dad was in the hospital in June and it really messed up his mind. The new surroundings confused him and all the people he didn't know were just upsetting. Besides, we didn't see a problem a hospital would help. Not knowing what to do, we did nothing.
Several days past and I knew something had to be done. I again went to the doctor. This time, after much prodding, the office manager gave me the number of the person in charge of in-home hospice. After one call we had a visit by an intake nurse who determined my dad was a candidate for these services. All we needed was a form signed by his doctor and the doctor's notes. As soon as they would be faxed, dad would be able to get all he needed. My husband and I walked the papers to the doctor's office, handed them to the office manager and spoke to the doctor, letting them know the urgency of our request. Twenty eight hours later, after 10 phone calls, the papers were sent. The hospital bed and other supplies were soon delivered. Pain killers and medicine to relieve his agitation also arrived. While things were still not good, things were better. Dad, at least, was comfortable.
I didn't know enough to help my dad and his aides sooner, but I know quite a bit now and will be more than happy to share.
The phone number for Visiting Nurse Hospice in NYC is (718) 536-3185. They are helpful and supportive and can probably direct you to the correct numbers even if you aren't in NYC. In addition to the nurses, they sent a wonderful aide, to help our aides, a social worker and a rabbi. They helped us as dad transitioned between life and death.