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Thread: What a frustrating crock of crap the health system is.

  1. #1
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    What a frustrating crock of crap the health system is.

    Sorry fellahs but I feel the need to vent. And I could have more rightly entitled this thread "Enduring Power of Attorney over health and well being is a complete waste of time and effort" but that wouldn't fit.

    So me old mum had a stroke in November last year. The stroke caused a vascular dementia, depression, anxiety, delusions, paranoia and a bunch of other issues that led to mum being admitted to a rest home where we ended up purchasing an occupancy right room. Mum never accepted her new surroundings and refused food, drink and medication which led her down a worsening path with regards to her mental health and that ended up with her being admitted to a mental health ward under the mental health act a couple of months back.

    The strict application of medication in hospital worked wonders and mum's mental faculties normalised (or it could have been the broken hip while in their care that snapped her back to reality).

    Anyway, I have had an EPOA over mum's health and well being since the old man died twenty five years ago and over the last six months I have been asked on a number of occasions to make decisions that mum was not cognitive enough to make for herself. This despite the fact that the EPOA has not been activated. It has still not been activated and as I cannot imagine a set of circumstances more dire than what has occurred over the last six months, I suspect it never will. Hence my contention that they are a complete waste of effort.

    Mum will be returned to the rest home tomorrow and I can absolutely see that she will again begin to refuse food drink and medication and will descend into the same frame of mind she reached prior to being admitted to the mental health ward. My view is that this cycle will perpetuate ad infinitum for the rest of her time.

    There is a difference now though and that difference is that when asked to make decisions in the future I will now refuse to do so as I am very clear in the understanding that I do not have a legal right to do so. Our family like many has rifts and I am no longer prepared to be exposed to future legal redress.

    The system is fucking stupid and I am fucking frustrated. If the EPOA gets activated then I will make the decisions, until then, the lot of them can get fucked.

    Vent over. FUCK!

    Oh and as a side note, much respect to the nurses (and doctors) that work in the mental health space.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
    What more do we need? If we are above ground and breathing the rest is up to us!
    Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
    Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone
    Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  2. #2
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    Feel for you Rushy - it's sickening that shit like this can happen and there is F*All you can do about it; and even less the care workers can do....

  3. #3
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    twice to A&E last week with possible heart troubles, discharged twice in pain. GP sorted it out in minutes.
    hands off to st john ambo's though !

  4. #4
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I have been there as well, in my case it bought out the worst in my brother and sister and we no longer talk.

  5. #5
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    hey @Rushy I'm just up the road if you want to talk about anything and yea its a c**t of a position to be in but as I do you've gotta look after your mum
    mikee and Cordite like this.

  6. #6
    Member Gapped axe's Avatar
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    Whats the issue Rushy? you either have power of attorney or not I would of thought. If you are the power of attorney push it if you need a hand PM me.
    gadgetman, stingray and Maca49 like this.
    "ars longa, vita brevis"

  7. #7
    Member Tahr's Avatar
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    Have you discussed the EPOA with your Mum's GP or medical carer, and has Mum been assessed for mental capacity? I'm sure you know this - if your Mum has capacity to make decisions about her own well being it is not triggered. If she does not have capacity, it will (should) be triggered.

    Its tricky, because some elderly people have legal mental capacity but lack the ability (in their loved ones' view) to make good rational decisions about their own well being. That becomes very frustrating for everyone. On the one hand family and care givers don't want to disempower their loved ones, and on the other direct intervention would serve their loved one best.

    Your Mum's lawyer should have the EPOA documentation if you haven't seen it, and it might or might not spell out your specific powers (which can vary).

    Its not always the fault of the "medical system".
    And as hard as it is, walking away is unlikely to bring peace or resolution to anyone. There's plenty of help available to sort these sorts of family dynamics - don't be afraid to walk towards it rather than away from it.

    Best wishes.

    http://www.medicalprotection.org/new...on-of-capacity
    Last edited by Tahr; 15-08-2017 at 08:22 PM.
    P38, veitnamcam, Pointer and 10 others like this.

  8. #8
    Member Gapped axe's Avatar
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    Always the voice of wisdom, your words are pretty much on the button, as always
    stingray likes this.
    "ars longa, vita brevis"

  9. #9
    Member Carpe Diem's Avatar
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    Love your work Tahr !!!
    Feather or Shoot and stingray like this.

  10. #10
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahr View Post
    Have you discussed the EPOA with your Mum's GP or medical carer, and has Mum been assessed for mental capacity? I'm sure you know this - if your Mum has capacity to make decisions about her own well being it is not triggered. If she does not have capacity, it will (should) be triggered.

    Its tricky, because some elderly people have legal mental capacity but lack the ability to make good rational decisions about their own well being. That becomes very frustrating for everyone. On the one hand family and care givers don't want to disempower their loved ones, and on the other direct intervention would serve their loved one best.

    Its not always the fault of the "medical system".
    And as hard as it is, walking away is unlikely to bring peace or resolution to anyone. There's plenty of help available to sort these sorts of family dynamics - don't be afraid to walk towards it rather than away from it.

    Best wishes.
    Hey Tahr, thanks for your comments. Yes this has been discussed with mum's GP who actually agreed that the EPOA should be activated but deferred to the decision being made by a physchiatric geriatrician. It was also agreed that it should be activated by the three mental health practicianers that invoked the mental health act to admit her to the mental health ward and again agreed it should happen by a charge nurse in the ward. The trouble is that despite all of this lip service by more people than I can recall, no one has stumped up and actually written the letter to trigger it. Of course with the removal of rights and the application of appropriate medication, mum has improved immensely (and I hope that continues) but in my view mum still doesn't have a good understanding of the implications of refusing medication and as a family we believe that when she gets back in the home she will refuse to take it and the staff there will honour her right to refuse.

    I will always act in the best interests of my mum but I don't see what benefit the EPOA has as if it has not been activated under the circumstances thus far, in my opinion I don't think it ever will be. I won't walk away but the view point I have now will likely give the carers the same sense of frustration that I have experienced and I am taking a punt on the fact that that will cause a review.

    The situation that we have at the moment is that when I complained to the DHB about what I considered to be patently wrong observations in a report by a nurse assessor and complained that despite my requests to be present, I was not told when the assessment was scheduled for, it was noted in a formal reply that they did not have to tell me as the EPOA had not been activated. The system can't have it both ways.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
    What more do we need? If we are above ground and breathing the rest is up to us!
    Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
    Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone
    Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  11. #11
    Member Tahr's Avatar
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    Ouch. A health advocate might help you with this situation. Your DHB should either have a service or be able to put you in contact with one.

  12. #12
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    Rushy -if you are still in touch with staff of that psychogeriatric mental health unit ask them for an appointment with the" district inspector" ASAP.he is an independent lawyer (govt appointed)available free to provide advice to pts etc on any aspect of their care /legal rights and all staff are accountable if he /she starts asking questions.you must cooperate with the DI.BTW-for all -Even if a person is placed in hospital under the mental health act ,"they have the right to refuse treatment "and we as staff must comply with that decision.
    If as im assuming youve had the discussions with the professionals around activating EPOA,then who was tasked with actually doing it-they are the ones needing the proverbial reminder to shake the daggs.
    bloody sorry to read of your dilemma-my ear is always available .

  13. #13
    OPCz Rushy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kotuku View Post
    Rushy -if you are still in touch with staff of that psychogeriatric mental health unit ask them for an appointment with the" district inspector" ASAP.he is an independent lawyer (govt appointed)available free to provide advice to pts etc on any aspect of their care /legal rights and all staff are accountable if he /she starts asking questions.you must cooperate with the DI.BTW-for all -Even if a person is placed in hospital under the mental health act ,"they have the right to refuse treatment "and we as staff must comply with that decision.
    If as im assuming youve had the discussions with the professionals around activating EPOA,then who was tasked with actually doing it-they are the ones needing the proverbial reminder to shake the daggs.
    bloody sorry to read of your dilemma-my ear is always available .
    Thanks Kotuku. I needed to vent and did. I find it therapeutic to dump when I am frustrated and penning the first post worked wonders. I have been stunned by the support via direct posts and private messages from this community. Mum was discharged today and was as sharp as a tack when I saw her. For the moment all is OK. I hope she keeps taking the meds.
    gadgetman and 223nut like this.
    It takes 43 muscle's to frown and 17 to smile, but only 3 for proper trigger pull.
    What more do we need? If we are above ground and breathing the rest is up to us!
    Rule 1: Treat every firearm as loaded
    Rule 2: Always point firearms in a safe direction
    Rule 3: Load a firearm only when ready to fire
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt
    Rule 5: Check your firing zone
    Rule 6: Store firearms and ammunition safely
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  14. #14
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    @Rushy,

    First, I agree with Tahr's comments. And I am sorry you are pig in the middle regarding your relatives, but as said above, it's about doing what is right for your mother and you have many relatives, only one mother.

    Note there is a free advocacy service provided by Health and Disability Commissioner:

    Advocacy - Health and Disability Advocacy

    (In case you hesitate to call this watchdog and "dob in" as you may perceive it, in my experience they do prefer to help patients + health providers to reach resolutions rather than drag health professionals before tribunals).

    Before doing so, I would re-approach your mother's GP and outline as above what (i.e. nothing but a string of further deferments) came of deferring the EPOA triggering task to the Psychogeriatrician & Co.

    In the end the buck stops with your mother's GP, who is your mother's only permanent doctor and thus unable to keep on passing the buck for a simple task!
    Maca49 likes this.

 

 

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