If I were to describe a dystopian novel where people go into hospital sick in order to be cared for and come out disabled, you would be horrified. However, that’s what’s happening in today’s hospital care for the elderly. I’ve written about it in Death by Modern Medicine and called the section “Warehousing the Elderly.”
An Aug 10, 2017 Medscape article called “Elderly Hospital Patients Arrive Sick, Often Leave Disabled” tried to identify why this was happening but failed to come up with any solutions.
Doctors were quoted as saying “The older you are, the worse the hospital is for you. A lot of the stuff we do in medicine does more harm than good. And sometimes with the care of older people, less is more.”
A lot of the problem has to do with too few staff and as the article says “Hospital staff often fail to feed older patients properly, get them out of bed enough or control their pain adequately. Providers frequently restrict their movements by tethering them to beds with oxygen tanks and IV poles. Doctors subject them to unnecessary procedures and prescribe redundant or potentially harmful medications. And caregivers deprive them of sleep by placing them in noisy wards or checking vital signs at all hours of the night.” And this list doesn’t even cover medical and prescription errors that are so common in hospitals.
Even though one medical director said “Bed rest is really, really bad, it sets off an explosive chain of events that are very detrimental to people’s health.” Nursing homes are even worse because patients are often overly medicated to keep them anchored to their beds, which puts less stress on the staff.
In Chapter 15 of The Magnesium Miracle, I talk about magnesium deficiency in the elderly where deficiency causes “…autonomic nervous system disturbances that involve both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, causing hypotension on rising quickly or borderline hypertension. In elderly patients, excessive emotionality, tremor, weakness, sleep disorders, amnesia and cognitive disturbances are particularly important aspects of magnesium deficiency.”
I’ve always said that I want people to stay healthy so they don’t end up in a doctor’s office or hospital. We do get reports all the time that by taking the right dietary supplements you can stay active and healthy and even recover from hospitalization faster. Just google my name and dietary supplements to find out what I recommend for optimal cellular health.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: email@example.com.
Beyond Pain Summit with Dr. Audrey Schnell launches Sept 5-Sept 28, 2017.