Aging Parents, US News Best Hospitals 2012-2013 and 5 Reasons to Consider Them

It’s July.  US News & World Report comes out with its “Best Hospitals” issue once again. Topping the list with the most specialties ranking #1 in the country: Massachusetts General (above) in Boston. It replaces Johns Hopkins in Baltimore which becomes #2.

In the Geriatrics specialty category Johns Hopkins replaces Mt. Sinai in NY as #1. Mt. Sinai becomes #2.

17 hospitals nationwide make the “Honor Roll” because they have the most number of high-ranking specialties: Granted, rankings have their shortcomings and there are many fine hospitals serving all parts of the country. (Note 148 hospitals have a #1 ranking in one specialty area…here’s how these rankings work)

5 reasons to consider the best hospitals’ specialties
to help aging parents

1. Approximately the same time is involved, be it for procedures done in excellent hospitals or less than excellent hospitals; with excellent doctors or less excellent doctors. Only the outcomes may be different.

2. When quality of life is at risk, the more experienced the hospital and medical professionals are (the more times they’ve done your parents’ needed procedure) the better the odds to have encountered–and handled well–unexpected problems.

3. Older people don’t bounce back so quickly. Patients lose independence in hospitals. It’s important they gain the confidence to feel some control. Ideally professionals working in the best hospitals’ specialties departments should have done “it” (what ever your parents’ medical situation is), worked with “it,” handled “it”–over and over and over.  Thus, they can instill confidence in you and your parents based on countless experiences with the expected and unexpected.

4. It takes hard work to recover well from certain procedures.  The skill of the professionals in the follow-up is a significant factor in hastening recovery and instilling a positive outlook. Elderly parents need to do whatever is necessary to move forward so the hospital experience doesn’t take then down a notch.

5. And yet–there are emergencies when we do what we must in a hurry. And there are times when we know the decisions we make are crucial and we may get only one chance to do it right. But even then, the professionals in the best hospitals can come to the rescue.

If a particular hospital has been a Godsend for aging parents, please communicate that–either in COMMENT below or CONTACT above. Indeed Karen’s comment about her mother’s need of more expert help and her experience with a geriatrician at Mt. Sinai is heartening––just what we’d hope for as we try to help parents age well.

Help Aging Parents: Trying to Do it All–Help!

Reassess, Prioritize, Change Plans (Holiday Gifts for Mothers–4 postponed ’til Saturday, but read on for nursing home gift baskets and an update on a 90-year-old mother’s appointment with a Mt. Sinai hospital’s geriatrician)
Isn’t there a song– “Mamma Said There’d Be Days Like This..”

Fly home Tuesday…cross-country.  Weather delay.  Arrive home after 1am this morning. Early morning commitment for the Woman’s Club Open House.  Sleep-deprived. Volunteered to do a holiday table setting which requires going out to buy flowers for the centerpiece.

We’re having heavy downpours; high wind gusts.  My car is dead!  Won’t start. Will need a ride to the Club, but first must go outside and cut holly and other greens.  My centerpiece will have no flowers, berries win out.

The sore throat that kept me from visiting my mother-in-law at the rehab center the last two days because I was concerned about spreading something–hangs on; and being drenched by the rain as I cut the holly isn’t the medicine the doctor would order if I had time to check with him.

Nursing Home Gift Bag

Nursing Home Gift Bag

Gift for a Woman

I want to share photos of some of the Woman’s Club’s holiday gift baskets for the nursing home this December. I mentioned them in November’s “Gifts for Aging Parents in Care Facilities” (along with a gift list.) They always look great and contents cost under $12.00 total.  And Open House guests always want to buy them, but they aren’t for sale.

Gift Basket (click to enlarge)

Click to enlarge

Of course, today I wanted to finish the Holiday Gifts for Aging Mothers–4, but can’t stretch 24 hours into the 30 hours I need.  Thus, I’m saving the “Holiday Gifts…” for Saturday.
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In the meantime, a letter received today from K, whose mother’s experience with a geriatrician at Mt. Sinai was shared in September-

Susan, I took my mother to Mt. Sinai yesterday for a follow-up meeting. I can’t begin to tell you how much I like it and Dr. P in particular. My feeling is that they are all just as wonderful.

My mother was walking on air when we left. He makes her feel validated and not just “old and complaining.”

Another gift idea: an appointment with a geriatrician (especially at hospitals with highly regarded geriatrics departments). It can help parents age well, just as it’s helping Karen’s mother.  And when our mother’s feel good, don’t we feel good? Thanks for sharing, Karen.