Care In and Out of the Hospital

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Imagine watching an elderly loved one move back and forth between their own home and a hospital, all because they did not have adequate home care. The hospital, in turn, did not provide enough rehospitalization time. This happens to many elderly folks who can no longer take care of themselves and neither can their spouses.

Mrs. Gerlach, age 82, suffered from a disease is called Giant Cell Arthritis and is very common for older people to contract. It is when the cells in the artery that feed the optic nerve become enlarged. The blood cannot get through and the artery starts to close. As the optic nerve starts to die, the cells lining of the artery get too big and starts restricting the blood flow. The doctors gave her medicine so it would stop the progression of the disease. It was a mega dose of steroids to decrease the swelling. The steroid was called Prednisone. Mrs. Gerlach started showing side effects to the medicine. It made her retain water and they gave her more medicine to stop the swelling. In the process, Mrs. Gerlach was in and out of the hospital all the time. She started showing signs of dementia and in the hospital and nurses often noticed she would see things which were not there. As time progressed, she began to lose a lot of her muscle. There would be bruises all over her arms from falling down, from lack of muscle she could not hold herself up. While in the hospital, she was given a certain amount of days to get better. After being discharged, she would end up back in the hospital because her care at home was not the same as in the hospital.

Elderly are put into the hospital for many reasons. One of the reason elderly are put into the hospital is because of illness. An example would be diab...

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... stay in the hospital as long as they may need to. Mrs. Gerlach was eventually put into the nursing home and is doing much better.

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