Family of stroke victim: system fails – the royal gazette
Created: Aug 21, 2017 9:00 AM
According to those close to him, a once-promising recovery from a stroke victim is faltering in the absence of comprehensive follow-up services.
As The Royal Gazette exploring gaps in healthcare for people with disabilities, an anonymous family credited the early support they received – but said they now struggle to keep the sick woman out of a home.
“My intention is not to discredit or demoralize government aid agencies, but to draw attention to the shortcomings of the system in the hope of improving it,” his brother said. âWe are grateful for the services that were provided, even though they were limited. “
It is not known exactly what hit her: Ten years ago, the woman had a stroke along with a traffic accident.
âWe never knew who came first,â he said.
âWe took her to Boston for treatment. Then she was hospitalized here for a few months. After feeling that there was nothing more they could do with her, she was taken home.
âAt this point, she was walking with a cane and was able to get out of bed, brush her teeth, wash her face, have breakfast. “
Rehabilitation restored much of his speech, he added: âShe has come a long way. But then she started to fall around the house, losing her balance a lot.
âIt was about a year and a half ago. She has lost confidence in herself.
âWe found her with bruises and bumps on her head. Finally, as a family, we decided to put her in a wheelchair. We were worried that she might get hurt.
This decision was “probably the wrong thing,” he admitted: his sister’s muscles started to seize up.
So far, she has spent 2017 confined to her chair.
But when her family requested additional rehabilitation and physiotherapy at the hospital, they were told to keep her at home.
âThis is where the fall begins,â he said. âThere was a lack of staff. They could come once a week or every two weeks. They did their best, but obviously that wasn’t enough for him. Another thing I must point out is that she was her own worst enemy. She was unwilling to do her part.
The family believe the stroke damaged the woman’s ability to reason, leaving her “argumentative.”
âShe went to Aging and Disability Services and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute. We were concerned about his mental health. The services provided were minimal. I expected her to be put in some sort of program. But the only advice from the MWI doctor was that family members stay away and caregivers take care of her. It really put me off.
As the woman’s speech diminished and became blurred, she was taken to a hospital therapist who, after ten minutes, told her brother to practice with her at home.
– That was it, he said. “I expected better.”
He commended Financial Assistance and government health insurance for their help with daycare and nursing.
âGovernment agencies prefer families to take care of their loved ones. This is what I am trying to do. But it becomes difficult without proper professional care. It is obvious that there are not enough staff and money available. We may have to put her in a house. I don’t want to blame the system entirely for my sister’s position.
âShe has to take some responsibility for her failure – and so do I, I guess. I did not dispute it. I accepted it and continued.
âHis failure to recover is partly due to his negativity and lack of work. I have to commend the physiotherapy staff for their time and professionalism. But my frustration is still there.
A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Hospitals Board said patient confidentiality barred any comment on individual treatment. “We have a patient advocate on staff who can be contacted to investigate any concerns and who will also work to implement changes if necessary,” she added. “We invite the gentleman cited in this article to contact our Patient Advocate by calling 236-2345 or sending an email to [email protected]”