Off Topic: advice or help

I usually don’t put my business out there…But would love some advice from you all.

My dad who is 88, came down with cdiff and we have been in and out of hospital for a month now…

I have had to stay to help for 14-20 hours a day and its brutal.

Nurses cant seem to attend to him fast enough so i try to stay as long as possible.

this morning, i came in and my dad was on the floor…. It was always my worst nightmare and why i stayed so long here…just assumed he would not be helped…

Not sure what damage was done, but what actions can I take? im exhausted and i feel helpless. What can I do?

Any advice or help appreciated? Malpractice? Hire a nurse to also be here? Im open to suggestions…


Dont have a suggestion but just want to relate that it absolutely is so hard when you have a loved one struggling medically and the care they are receiving is atrocious (even being mindful of how horribly overrun our medical systems currently are/controlled by corporate greed/medical providers trying their best with overflow of patients, overworked long hours, and lack of supports). And how traumatic that bad care can be when life is already so stressful.

(definitely do not recommend INOVA Schar for your loved ones’ cancer treatments)

During my mom’s last year my parents were on medicare but also Cigna through Obamacare/health market place and they offered to provide a nurse to help out at times. I don’t know if your dad has health insurance or if they have some sort of set up for temporary help?


First of all, so sorry to hear this. Hospitals are required to track and report falls and falls with injuries to CMS, so this is something they should take very seriously. At a minimum request an in person sitter with your dad. If the hospital cannot/ will not provide one, it is certainly a good idea to hire someone with experience as a sitter to give you a break. As a PSA, long term care insurance is expensive, but if you ever have need of it for a loved one as we did with my dad, it is worth the cost.


Don’t have any experience or advice to give, but I have eyes and ears, so if you ever just want to write or vent, know you have a place with friends who will listen. Best of luck to you, your dad and your family. Wishing the best for you.


I was a little unclear from reading your post…he’s in the hospital now, and was when the fall occurred?

If so, as was mentioned, that’s an event that has to be reported. Also, it’s a JCAHO requirement for the hospital to have a Patient Advocacy/Safety team that you can speak with. I’d recommend starting with them.


Apologies @GulfCoastHoo, he is in the hospital when he fell, they didnt have the guard rails up, no bed alarm activated…all things that should have prevented this. appreciate the help everyone! I asked and received a sitter, will ask for safety team next


Hospitals don’t want to mess with their JCAHO accreditation. It’s what keeps the doors open.


What’s his name? I would like to add him to my prayer team list., if you don’t mind?


Hey, @Merch. I’m really sorry you and your family are going through this. Couple of thoughts for you based on some experiences in different parts of my life. First, does the hospital where your Dad fell have a patient advocate or ombudsman? Most do. If there is one at your Dad’s hospital, I would get an appointment with them to go on record about your disappointment with what happened and concerns about the level of care your Dad is receiving. Ask for a commitment to specific action items to ensure your Dad’s safety. If they commit to any changes or action items, get it in writing. Then document any and all failures to meet those commitments and report them to the advocate. These steps won’t guarantee an improved level of care for your Dad, but they will bring more pressure to bear on the care team to take your Dad’s health and safety seriously.

As far as a malpractice claim goes, was your Dad significantly injured in his fall? If not, it will be difficult to get a good malpractice lawyer interested in his claim. There are three components of a compensable claim: a breach of the standard of care, causation, and damages. You’ve definitely got the first two, but damages are driven by the severity of the injury. If, as I hope, your Dad wasn’t badly injured when he fell, the damage potential may not be high enough to entice a good malpractice lawyer.

I hope these thoughts are at least somewhat helpful. I hate what you and your family are going through and hope y’all can get some relief and peace of mind. But most of all, I hope your Dad has a complete recovery.


Appreciate the help. I could not find a safety team or patient advocacy in the directory. i went to the admin office and they said they would come talk to me, but never did.

I will keep calling. The dr said he didnt need to xray or do any other evaluation of him post fall outside of monitoring him.


Thanks @DavetheWave , it’s Ching-Hsien Huang. FYI, the first Asian Professor at UVA. He’s super proud of that…


Oh, that’s so cool!

I don’t have any useful advice, I just want to say I’m sorry what you’re going through.


So sorry you are going through all this (him too, of course). We have a friend whose husband has had a stroke. He is pretty much out of it but will try to get out of the bed which will undoubtedly lead to a fall. The care unit refuses to put up guardrails because they say that is a form of restraint and that is not allowed. Consequently, their family members and some friends are taking shifts so someone is always there night and day. They have put pads by the floor in case he manages to get up.

I still don’t understand why measures can’t be taken to confine him to the bed if family is willing to sign off on it since the alternatives are not good.

Godspeed to you and yours.


@Merch how’s your Dad doing? Praying for you all and sending positive thoughts at Christmas.


appreciate it. it’s still up and down everyday. Hoping for an upswing, but also know at 88, every day is a blessing. It’s so strange, I try my very best to be grateful that I still have a father at my age…I am grateful that I’m able to be there for him, despite what he’s going through. Not much else I can do, but to be there for him. My brother flew in also, so that’s been nice. Appreciate all the support. I am no doubt thankful that my dad gave me an environment growing up where we got to make UVA Basketball a priority in our lives…that in itself is something I am so grateful for. If you’re biggest challenges are about not going to the final four…ur doing something right.