Are my dad's doctors making him sicker?
September 25, 2011 4:00 PM Subscribe
This is my first Ask MeFi question, and I'm asking on behalf of my parents. My father is in reasonably good physical health but poor mental health, which may be related to the meds he's on and the "quality" care he's getting in the American "system". Are there some kind of additional resources for me or them to help make their way through the bureaucrat-ese and get some better care? And maybe some additional health care (or heck, elder care in general) resources I could find for them?
posted by no relation to health & fitness (9 answers total)
My father has some kind of dementia condition that is causing him to have some loss of mental faculties, but I'm not totally clear on exactly what. He had been diagnosed with both Parkinson's and restless leg, but I think he's not showing any signs of Parkinson's currently. He is on a host of medications, some of which seem to make him drowsy all the time (including, I'm now made aware, both morphine and oxycodone, to which he may be addicted), and he's showing obsessive and compulsive behaviors that he wasn't previously. I'm thinking it's something to do with the combination of meds he's on, but I don't have the resources to determine what.
My dad is a military retiree, and used to be on Kaiser Permanente coverage -- in fact my parents have been on Kaiser for pretty much their entire lives, until a couple of years ago. They were paying a lot in premiums and switched to Tricare, which I understand does a lot of Medicare supplemental coverage and for which they pay a lot less. But now they're in the wonderful United States health care "system", where clinics are all over creation and doctors don't talk to one another. The ideal situation for both of them would be to be back on Kaiser, where information is in one place, care is in one place, and if you need a specialist they have all of your records on the same system and it's all covered. They're in Salem, Oregon, and we've always had great Kaiser facilities around here.