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Doctors’ Appointments, Hospital Stays: What’s Your Record?

emergency_room_591Mary, one of our fans on our Facebook page, shared an article about caregiving that appeared in Quad-City Times. The article, A Generation in Transition: Caring for Elderly Loved Ones, begins with these two paragraphs:

In one 10-day period, Jill Teats drove three of her elderly loved ones to 18 doctor’s appointments: There were eight appointments one week, 10 the next.

From the Teats home in rural Erie, Ill., that represented about 19 hours of driving time, and that doesn’t include the time spent in physicians’ waiting rooms or helping family members get ready to travel.

@Trish wrote yesterday about yet another trip to the emergency room on Thursday, making September a month of three stays in or trips to the hospital.

I wonder what about your record. How many doctors’ appointments have you taken your caree(s) to within a month? How many hospitalizations have you had within a month? I don’t think others understand how much time you spend within the healthcare system. So, let’s tell them.

Please share your record for hospitalizations and/or doctors appointments in our comments section, below.

About Denise Brown

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I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues.


  1. Avatar of Richard

    When my mom was going through her heart, lung and stoke issues (all in a matter if 3 weeks) I was driving her to heart, lung, kidney, neuro. And speech doctors, blood work, speech therapist, physical therapists and more. At our peak we had 14 appointments in one week, which included:

    Note: Each of the include the 20 minute drive to mom’s house.

    - Three appointments (heart, lung and
    neuro) 135 minutes away. Or 2hrs
    15min each way. Plus say 20-25min
    minimum in the waiting room. All
    three involved blood work, another
    20-25min each time waiting.
    - Four appointments (Kidney, Speech)
    40min each way. Included 20-25min
    waiting each.
    - Seven appointments (GP, Coumadin
    blood test “CBT”, PT) all 35-40min
    each with the CBT taking 1-11/2hrs
    due to wait time, of course PT took
    an hour in itself, plus the wait.
    - One appointment for a Nuclear Dye
    test was so early (6am) and was one
    of the 2hr 15min away that we went
    down night before to not have to
    deal with the San Francisco rush hour
    - If you want to add the wait time between appointments, breakfast or lunch, etc.

    I hope I got everything. Have a great weekend.

    Richard /: ^{ ) ^

  2. Let’s see — one year –4 people in the family
    Dad – 3 hospital stays – 12 doctor appointments
    Mom – 2 hospital stays -2 surgeries with 23 hour admit- 3 ER visits for infections due to immunosuppressive therapy – 13 IVIG treatments @ 6 hours each – 9 doctors: 3 @ monthly; 3 @ quarterly; 2 at bi-annually; 1 at annual – plus follow up from hospital
    Son #1 – 1 hospital stay-1 surgery- 3 doctors — 14 ER visits for high fever (w/follow after each) 27 doctor visits and 52 speech therapy appointments due speech problems from ear infections.
    Son #2- 3 hospital stays – 8 ER visits for high fevers – 1 surgery 1 doctor apt follow up following each ER/surgery/hospital – 5 doctors: 1 monthly, 3 quarterly; 1 bi-annual. Occupational therapy 3x/week;speech therapy 2x/week; physical therapy 1x/week

    I don’t even know what the total is — It’s odd looking at that now and realizing that the healthiest person in the family then — is the one who is the Caree now —

  3. I should have added I’m “mom” and my husband is “dad”
    One of those hospital stays for me was 3 days in ICU and a total of 17 days in the hospital

    • Avatar of Denise

      Hi Peggikaye–First, I LOVE your profile picture. :) My head kinda spun reading about that year. I can’t even imagine the stress. How do you think you guys made it through?

      • first – thank you :) it still feels surreal even though I’m now working full time and going to graduate school (full time)

        My head spins when I think about that year too — it was ‘normal’ then — I’m finding it amazing that the closer you get to a true norm how abnormal ‘abnormal’ seems — you do what you have to do until you don’t have to anymore.

        • Avatar of Denise

          I think you are right–We adjust to our reality at the time. It’s like we’re climbing through a cave believing we are in the sun until we actually get out of the cave and realize what the sun really looks like. :)

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