We visited her on November 27 and she was doing well...alert, anxious to get on with her recovery and wanting to come home. Then on November 29 I get a call from her that she is not getting her meds like she should. She was very out of it and slurring her words a little, so I tried to reach the nurse on duty. No luck, just voice mail and no one ever called me back. I tried calling her back on her cell phone, but there was no answer, so I thought she might be asleep and I would call back later...or so I thought.
About 8 p.m. we got a call from my brother-in-law in another state telling us she had been sent to the emergency room and did we know why. That put us in panic mode and we started making phone calls to find out what was going on. In a nutshell, this is what we found out:
-The nurse on duty was concerned because my MIL's temperature was low (94), she was sweating profusely, and her blood pressure was too high.
-None of our contact info was in her chart and the nurse had no info from the medical POA. The nurse happened to have my brother-in-law's phone number because she had dinner with him when he was visiting and she called him.
-The ER had our phone number, given to them by my MIL, but did not call us. They would only tell us she was admitted and stable when we called because they could not verify our identity over the phone. They let us talk to her and she could barely put 2 sentences together because she was so over medicated.
-We had to drive to see her in order to find out what was wrong. One problem was that she was not getting medications as prescribed. I had to show the bottles to the nurse to (hopefully) get that changed. Second, they were making her take pain meds and a sleeping pill that she did not want and with her other meds, it was leaving her zombified to the point she could not do physical therapy, which was why she was in rehab to start with.
We had trained medical professionals giving her so much medication that she was in an obvious drugged stupor and yet no one questioned that maybe she was being over medicated. What is wrong with these people? We had an obviously frail 78 year old woman with dementia in an ER by herself and they won't call her family even when she gives them the phone number. She cannot give an accurate medical history because of her dementia, which puts everyone at risk of not giving her adequate and safe medical care.
I repeat, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!! What can we do to keep anything like this from happening again?