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Caregivers and Geriatric Services

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2022 3:30 am

Caregivers and Geriatric Services

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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March 30, 2022 3:30 am

Jodi Kay Benusco calls the program and shares insights gleaned from years as a Social Worker and seasoned Inpatient Discharge Planner at a Level II inpatient hospital.

 

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Isn't it about time someone started advocating for you? www.caregiverlegal.com. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

If you want some more information, Hopeforthecaregiver.com. I want to pivot a little bit from what we talked about in the last segment and introduce somebody to you who I believe has some great insights for those caring for aging parents. She was a care manager at the hospital for many years, and something prompted her to change. She saw a great need. She wanted to meet that need, and that's exactly what she's doing now.

She's also a social worker, and she brings a lengthy history of experience in dealing with this issue that is really challenging for a lot of family members. She hails in from Wisconsin, where I believe that she has a steady diet of cheese and dairy products. No, I'm just kidding. You can't be lactose intolerant and live in Wisconsin, can you? Is that right, Jody? That is correct, Peter. Well, this is Jody K. Bonussa, and she is a wonderful lady.

It just ignored the lactose intolerant concept. No, Wisconsin is known for their wonderful dairy products. It's a great state, and I'm glad to have you with us. Jody, I'm going to call you Jody K, because that's what you like to be called. You said that people vacillate between Jody and Jody K, but I'm going to go with Jody K because I'm from the South, and double names are all the rage in the South. My wife's name is Gracie, but her real name is Mary Grace, and you can always tell when her parents were upset with her.

They call her by her full name. Is that what happened with you? Did they get upset with you and call you by your full name?

Well, sometimes they did, but I got to tell you, I like Jody K, because when I think of that name, all the great things that happened in my life, I remember hearing Jody K. So associated with good memories. All the bad things I hear in my life are associated with, hey, you. No, I'm just kidding. All right, so you were a care manager at a hospital. You did this for many years, and you saw a need. Actually, you saw a challenge. You saw a problem, and it troubled you a little bit.

What was the problem? Sure, so I was a hospital discharge planner in an ortho unit, in a neurosurgery unit. I saw lots of traumas. I helped the elderly, those that had hip fractures, strokes, major accidents, brain injuries, that sort of thing, and I really just became frustrated with the hospital regulations, Medicare rules. I was not able to help my patients the way they needed and deserved to be helped.

Can you give me an example? Sure, so when you're working with insurance, there is always a hurriedness. There's always an urgency to get them discharged from the hospital. Discharge from the hospital. We weren't really allowed to stop, take a breath, kind of explore options and the situation. We were to get our patients out to please Medicare, to get paid by insurance companies, and it was just a hurried, rushed system that drove me nuts. You know, in fact, this morning, actually just this morning, I was thinking, what was I doing a year ago? And I was walking to work, and I remember how angry I was, how frustrated I was, and how helpless I felt because I was going into that building again, not being able to serve my patients the way they needed. Well, I've been a recipient of those kinds of things, and I remember Gracie was in ICU, and they started calling about trying to transfer her out and get her into rehab and this and that, and she's less than a week out of surgery and still in ICU.

And I looked at her, I said, hey boys, y'all are a little over your skis here, and she's going to move at the speed she's going to move at, and we'll just wait and see. And they put so much pressure on me, and I kind of wonder how do, I mean, and I can handle that sort of thing. I can deal with it. I've been doing this a long time, but I kind of wonder how folks deal with it who haven't been dealing with it a long time. And I think that's what you jumped into the fray to help do because people are, they're just mowed over by this.

Right, right. I would go above and beyond. I would work harder than my colleagues just because I would make sure to get in that room as soon as they were transferred to me from critical care to start explaining the whole process and really trying to be in that room as much as I could answering questions and helping them cope and learning even how to maneuver the health care system that they were thrown into all of a sudden. What are some, what are some potential quicksand places that you want to help people avoid when they find themselves in this situation? Say that their mother broke her hip, uh, had a fall, you know, all those kinds of things, or, you know, dislocated shoulder, rotator cuff, all those kinds of things that you, you dealt with and you know how traumatic those things can be when the family finds themselves in this, what are some, what are some traps that you would like to help them avoid and how can they avoid it?

Sure. So when you're, when you're in the inpatient hospital side, it is going to be important for you to be able to cope with the, the stresses that, that happen. Um, you don't know how to maneuver this. So when you know that you're going into the hospital for a traumatic reason, a hip fracture, dislocated shoulder, a stroke, any of that, always know that you are going to be asked right away about your discharge plan. Um, that is that even, even in the emergency room, even before surgery, they're going to probably start asking you what your discharge plan is. So have that mindset going in knowing that, that, that is going to be the case. The quicksand that I think that I can maybe help, maybe you think through a little bit is be, use your voice, use your voice.

When you were in that hospital, don't allow that hospital worker to, um, tell you where you're going to go. Um, they, they shouldn't be doing that anyway, but just really use your voice, express what you want and, and do the best you can in communicating openly, um, have other people there with you. So everyone can be sure that you're all on the same page. A lot of people don't know what the vocabulary looks like in this.

They don't know the words to use. There are certain phrases that you can use and, and can commit to memories to help you navigate through these things. What, what's something that people can say they can write down as they listen to this program now, okay, I'm going to remember this phrase. Sure.

Sure. So let's see a couple of things that you should remember is, um, I I'm really going to advocate and say that you really want to speak to your social worker. You want to hear options. You want to hear what, and here's, here's a, here's a catchphrase that you're probably going to hear. What sniff do you want to be discharged to a sniff is spelled S N F and that stands for skilled nursing facility.

Okay. Skilled nursing facility is sniff. That's a terrible acronym, but I'm going to let, I will let you go with it on that. That's what you're going to hear.

Which sniff can I make referrals to? So, um, here's something that was really kind of disheartening to me is I had patients that really did not want to go to any skilled nursing facility for rehab. They, um, may be up with one person, a one person assist, you know, maybe they had that person at home, but because the hospital is so desperate in getting the patients out and they need to be, they need their beds. I understand that that situation too, that if, if that patient could be given another day, another four days, um, just recuperating, they could make it home. Okay.

And that was really frustrating to me. Well, and it, it, I, I share that because I've been there and I understand that I, um, I look at the things that people deal with in this, and I know that they are a little bit overwhelmed because the system is extremely intimidating when you've never been there. Getting involved. If you see your parents aging and you know, some things are coming down the pike, what's the best way to find a social worker in their area who can do what you do or can you work across the country or how does that work?

Um, so yes, I can work across the country. What someone could do, and this can be a little bit time consuming and that's why you need to start the process early. Don't wait to do it in the emergency room. No, no, the longer you wait, the harder it is, but you can reach out to your local County here in Wisconsin. We call it the ADRC, the Aging and Disability Resource Center. That is a good spot to start. Um, however, I will say that if you do have some assets, if you have some money and you don't qualify for medical assistance, it's going to be a little bit harder to reach out to the Aging and Disability Resource Centers out there.

Um, they will help, but it's just a little bit slower. So I would highly suggest just, um, reaching out, maybe even calling your primary care physician and ask for the clinic social worker. That would be a good place to start as well. I think that's, that is probably the best place to start, isn't it?

It sounds, that just sounds like it'd be a good place for everybody knows their primary care doctor saying, Hey, look, while you're there, let's get a referral and let's not wait until a fall happens or something bad happens. I understand that. And, and I look back at the times with me and I just didn't have that.

And I was kind of left to forage for myself. And that's why I'm always looking for people who can bring some insights last, uh, in just about a minute or so one last tip or thought you have to help people navigate this a little smoother. Sure. I think it is absolutely just one of the most important things is have that discussion with your elderly loved one today about what your goals of your goals are your life goals habit now before the crisis hits. So you are on the same page. So when that, if, if for some reason a hip fracture does happen, you're going to know you're already going to have a plan in place. You're going to know the wishes and desires of that one, and you can help them recover faster and get to where they need to be in a more pleasant way. Yeah.

There's going to be some waves and some rocks in this particular river that we're going down, but they don't have to capsize this. And I love what you're talking about. Just let's start now. Let's have that conversation. If people want to get in touch with you, what's the best way to do that?

Sure. I would love to speak to anyone. Um, easiest way is going to be to visit my website, Midwest geriatric consulting services.com and you can click through and I have, um, a contact me link and I would be more than happy to get in touch with you. And I'll put this on the podcast, Midwest geriatric consulting services.

That's a long title.com, but it's spelled just like it sounds Midwest geriatric consulting services.com. This is Jody K. Bonussa and Jody, I really do appreciate you taking the time to be with today. I look, I I've been overwhelmed by these things and now I kind of push back cause I kind of walk in there and, and I, you know, I tell them I'm board certified in cranial proctology and they look at me kind of funny and write it down and keep going.

And I don't bother to explain it. Uh, but for people getting there for the first time, this can be daunting. And you have provided some, some good counsel and a friendly voice and some resources that people can go up to your website. So it's Midwest geriatric consulting services.com Jody K. Bonussa, Jody K. Thank you very much for being a part of the program. Thank you so much, Peter. My pleasure. All right.

We'll see you in just a moment. Don't go away. Hope for the caregiver. Peter Rosenberger. He's been a caregiver since the cold war. Some of you know, the remarkable story of Peter's wife, Gracie, and recently Peter talked to Gracie about all the wonderful things that have emerged from her difficult journey.

Take a listen. Gracie, when you envision doing a prosthetic limb outreach, did you ever think that inmates would help you do that? Not in a million years. When you go to the hospital, do you think that you're going to be able to do that?

Not in a million years, not in a million years. When you go to the facility run by Core Civic and you see the faces of these inmates that are working on prosthetic limbs that you have helped collect from all over the country that you put out the plea for, and they're disassembling, you see all these legs, like what you have, your own prosthetic and arms and arms. When you see all this, what does that do to you? It makes me cry because I see the smiles on their faces and I know what it is to be locked someplace where you can't get out without somebody else allowing you to get out.

Of course, being in the hospital so much and so long. These men are so glad that they get to be doing, as one band said, something good finally with my hands. Did you know before you became an amputee that parts of prosthetic limbs could be recycled? No, I had no idea.

You know, I thought of peg leg, I thought of wooden legs, I never thought of titanium and carbon legs and flex feet and sea legs and all that. I never thought about that. As you watch these inmates participate in something like this, knowing that they're helping other people now walk, they're providing the means for these supplies to get over there.

What does that do to you just on a heart level? I wish I could explain to the world what I see in there and I wish that I could be able to go and say, this guy right here, he needs to go to Africa with us. I never not feel that way.

Every time, you know, you always make me have to leave, I don't want to leave them. I feel like I'm at home with them and I feel like that we have a common bond that I would have never expected that only God could put together. Now that you've had an experience with it, what do you think of the faith-based programs that CoreCivic offers? I think they're just absolutely awesome and I think and I think every prison out there should have faith-based programs like this because the return rate of the men that are involved in this particular faith-based program and other ones like it, but I know about this one, are it's just an amazingly low rate compared to those who don't have them and I think that that says so much. That doesn't have anything to do with me. It just has something to do with God using somebody broken to help other broken people.

If people want to donate a used prosthetic limb, whether from a loved one who passed away or you know somebody who outgrew them, you've donated some of your own for them to do. How do they do that? Please go to standingwithhope.com slash recycle standingwithhope.com slash recycle. Thanks Gracie. you
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-14 04:40:01 / 2023-05-14 04:47:02 / 7

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