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How to Die, What Joe Klein Learned from His Mom and Dad, at Time.com
A BRIGHT RED cover of Time magazine caught my eye when standing in line at the grocery store last week: The June 11, 2012 edition has, in big black letters TIME, and underneath in simple white large letters:
What I Learned from the Last Days of My Mom and Dad
By Joe Klein
Inside, "The Long Goodbye. For five months, I was my parents' death panel. And where the costly chaos of Medicare failed, a team of salaried doctors and nurses offered a better way" -- by Joe Klein
I cannot more highly recommend going to Time.com and taking a look at the video of Joe Klein about this topic and get into the issue to read the story. It is a remarkable story: his parents met their first day of school and were married an incredibly long time, both got dementia with different features and challenges for them and those surrounding them. He did an amazing job of managing, from a distance and with travel and inclusive teamwork with his brother working across the world in Asia, the things which so many struggle through, including taking away driving priviledges.
A hospice worker called protective services as the father was insisting on running the house but that was leaving his wife in an unsafe way, and many things which were extraordinarily difficult about his parents' situation.
He brilliantly described a situation similar to what my father endured, where the 'interventionists' you encounter typically in insurance-based, third-party payor medicine, drive the cardgame in the direction of what makes them money. And how, for them, salvation came in finding a progressive 'institution' to transfer their care to. The collusion and teamwork that have to go on between the well-minded decision makers to skirt around the control-seeking and cognivitely failing parent/patient are documented and his clear appreciation for the competence of the providers in that facility exhudes from the pages.
I had been on my teams in my career as a occupational therapist working in skilled nursing and subacute rehabilitation, and was completely unprepared for how family members are viewed and handed, even when they have medical expertise, in the 'conventional' hospital and nursing home. Or the dynamics that come into play within families when under crisis like this for the first time, perhaps -- when you're a medical provider, this is not your family crisis, it is your work and you do it diligently and are invested, naturally, but you are on the outside of that core team. Being inside it was an entirely different and absurd experience which was beyond the limit for acceptable.
Again, I cannot more highly suggest watching Joe's video at Time.com and pursuing the article if you're feeling inclined, and naturally I am available for questions if you have them. This simply seemed appropriate for posting today, Fathers Day 2012.
Live and Learn. Learn and Live Better! is my motto. I'm Mardy Ross, and I founded Lumigrate in 2008 after a career as an occupational therapist with a background in health education and environmental research program administration. Today I function as the desk clerk for short questions people have, as well as 'concierge' services offered for those who want a thorough exploration of their health history and direction to resources likely to progress their health according to their goals. Contact Us comes to me, so please do if you have questions or comments. Lumigrate is "Lighting the Path to Health and Well-Being" for increasing numbers of people. Follow us on social networking sites such as: Twitter: http://twitter.com/lumigrate and Facebook. (There is my personal page and several Lumigrate pages. For those interested in "groovy" local education and networking for those uniquely talented LumiGRATE experts located in my own back yard, "LumiGRATE Groove of the Grand Valley" is a Facebook page to join. (Many who have joined are beyond our area but like to see the Groovy information! We not only have FUN, we are learning about other providers we can be referring patients to and 'wearing a groove' to each other's doors -- or websites/home offices!) By covering some of the things we do, including case examples, it reinforces the concepts at Lumigrate.com as well as making YOU feel that you're part of a community. Which you ARE at Lumigrate!
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