Spit Happens

March 11, 2011; By: Audrey Miller
All About Estates

I was preparing my blog for this week which was to be on bed blocking. I had found it interesting that while on vacation, the headline in London’s Daily Telegraph (Feb 24, 2011) was “Bed-blocking crisis in NHS as cuts hit care homes”. This was an all too familiar headline – the subject of which was written about in the ‘Healthy Debate” website , titled “Gridlock in Ontario’s Hospitals”. My dealings with this subject matter were as recent as having received, only the day before, a referral from a busy hospital social worker asking for assistance on behalf of an elderly couple who were both ready to be discharged. They had been admitted for different reasons and one needed a long term care bed and the other needed a period of convalescence. They could not go home and there were no other facility beds available. As described in The Healthy Debate : “One of the biggest causes of gridlock is the inability to discharge patients who no longer need hospital care – patients who cannot go home because there are insufficient supports at home, or are waiting for a bed in a rehabilitation hospital, nursing home or other assisted living facility. These patients are described as needing alternate level of care (ALC).”

However the writing of the blog was interrupted. This weekend I learned of two deaths and will be leaving tomorrow for two funerals-both in Montreal. Both of these fine people had died in good hospitals. One had been there for less than a week and the other, very sadly, had been there for months. Life is interrupted by death. So in this blog, I pause to remember. The long history I shared with this family and their mom, my friend, who influenced me more than I realized- including my chosen field of social work.
I am reticent to consider that these two wonderful people, parents of two close friends, could be thought as having been included in that aforementioned category.

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