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Old 05-04-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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no friends or relatives.
what if a loner get sick and is hospitalized....there is no friends or relatives to sign any hospital papers for him. What would happen?
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott456 View Post
no friends or relatives.
what if a loner get sick and is hospitalized....there is no friends or relatives to sign any hospital papers for him. What would happen?
Why would you need someone to sign papers for you? I've been hospitalized numerous times over the past few years, including a couple of life-and-death situations, and although I have friends & family, I never once needed anyone to sign any paperwork for me.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
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Everyone should have a medical POA (i.e., designation of health care surrogate) and similar documents. You don't have to name a family member - just someone you trust. If you're in a medical situation - decisions have to be made - you can't make them - and you don't have the right documents - the medical provider will try to find next of kin (second cousin twice removed?) and/or get a court to appoint someone to act in your place.

Here's a link to the Florida Bar website which contains consumer information about these issues (I assume other Bar associations have websites with similar information):
Consumer Living Wills, Health Care Surrogates, and Advanced Directives INDEX
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Old 05-04-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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The problem usually comes in when POA or not you are taken to emegency treatments unable to give consent.Often the POA is useless then as they have to have ot ;so noraml laws in different staes take effect. Then even further treatment is n problem unlesss a relative objects as the court papers are usually quick without.It isn't like those cases you read about where there is some big fight in court. The main thing POA help is when it s a life ending thing and with certain procedures you don't want say.Having a primary care physican and having one filed with him/.her is the best really. Its alos best to discuss many things with the docotrs so you undersatnd the procedure and possible outcome . He/she often know the primary risk of probelm if you have certain diseses of what is possible decisions you may have to make in the future whiile explaining there are a certainity.That allows you to make much more informed choices even in life ending procedures. The general one at hospitals is rather matter of fact and porly understiood by poateients who =oftan suffer because they just said no lfe support at all which may make the suffering worse than it has to be.Once you have gone thu this wiht a relative you more understand that certin procedures can make a difference inhow you die even.
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Old 05-04-2010, 02:15 PM
 
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I have a health care proxy, advance directives, and this info is stored at my doctor's service and the local hospital, and my lawyer had a copy. I have made clear to her that, in doubt, she should advocate for me to have the plug pulled (along with my proxy).
I carry a copy of the names and numbers in plastic in my bag in my car, gave copies to a friend and a neighbor. My proxy works at the same place as me and happens to live three streets away.
Any of us who have worked in the medical field fear too much treatment, not too little. And it goes way beyond "DNR"- there are all kinds of procedures and problems before cardiac/resp. failure.
I once had the dubious pleasure of doing CPR on a 92-year-old woman with one leg and blind, at my job. Listening to her ribs crack, waiting for the paramedics, who sort of pretended to do CPR as they got her in the ambulance, since they can't pronounce death. If she'd had a DNR in place, we would have repositioned her airway, checked again, pulled her sheet up, and wished her well.
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Old 05-04-2010, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
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Those are good points. The documents won't help you at all if they're locked up in your safe deposit box! Robyn
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Old 05-04-2010, 04:04 PM
 
Location: California
31,207 posts, read 34,397,105 times
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I worry more about after care. There was a man who lived near my parents who came home from the hospital in a taxi and then lay naked under a sheet on his sofa for a few days before my parents stopped by to check in on him. He had only eaten some crackers the entire time because he was too sore and immobile to get up and actually take care of himself. People underestimate how difficult even the simplest chores can be, and even the doctors tend to play off this stuff by doing outpatient surgeries and sending people home the same day, which gives the impression that "it's not that bad" to some people. It usually IS "that bad" at first with all the anesthesia in your system and initial pain and what not.

This particular fellow would have been fine eventually, even with his lack of support. And I'm sure most people are, but he sure did appreciate some real food and it makes me wonder about those who have no friends and family to pitch in those first few days. I will always be sure to arrange for help, even if I have to pay for it out of pocket, if I find myself in that position.
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: SW MO
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Either my wife or I could eventually find out. That's life. If I die first she'll most likely eventually sell the house and move back to California to be near her children and grandchildren. If she goes before me I'll likely keep the house as long as I am able to care for it then sell and move into a multi-level senior community nearby to last out my days. Although most of my children and grandchildren are in California I have no desire to return to that state.
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:14 AM
 
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An elderly neighbor with no family, no friends has a medical power of attorney and Living Will on her refrigerator with the name and phone number of her attorney.
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Old 05-05-2010, 11:20 AM
 
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I have always planned and hoped to have enough money to hire help of some sort, or move to a planned senior community with services. I watch the few seniors I know personally and try to learn where the pitfalls might be.
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