Time for Geriatric Psychiatric Hospitalization


Tuesday I took my mother from her stroke rehab to the hospital for a swallow test. When we returned to her stroke rehab afterwards, she refused to get out of my car. She went so far as to throw my car into park when I was driving toward the entrance. I warned her that her behavior was dangerous and that if she continued she might end up psychiatrically hospitalized.

To get my mom out of my car, the stroke rehab facility had up to ten different staff members try to cajole her out of the car and back to her room. Two Orange County sheriffs were called to see if she would listen to them (not really their job).

Finally the paramedics came. A handsome young paramedic took my mother’s vitals and monitored her heart rate. She refused a wheelchair and pointed to their gurney. After a three hour standoff, the paramedics wheeled her back into the rehab facility on a gurney.

On Wednesday, my mother’s rehab doctor called and informed me that she refused food, drink, medication and all stroke rehab treatment (speech, occupational and physical therapy). He recommended a psychiatric evaluation and checked for a urinary tract infection (UTI) which can result in confusion, a delirium-like state, agitation, hallucinations and behavioral changes.

After her psychiatric evaluation, she was transferred to a small inpatient psychiatric facility with expertise in working with geriatric patients. Maybe my mother will finally get the help that she needs. Unfortunately, psychiatric hospitalization relies heavily on group therapy, a format which she cannot benefit from for she cannot talk due to her stroke.

63 thoughts on “Time for Geriatric Psychiatric Hospitalization

  1. robertmgoldstein January 5, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Group therapy is to mental health treatment what Velveeta is to cheese. It tastes like cheese but it isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley January 6, 2016 / 9:13 am

      Actually, after having a couple of decades of individual therapy, I found group therapy refreshing, primarily because the healing occurs when the group members support each other.


  2. Pieces of Bipolar December 20, 2015 / 12:57 am

    Wow, a 3 hour standoff must have been quite traumatic for you. Try to remember, your mom’s current behavior doesn’t define who she is and always has been. She still loves you and will never stop loving you. As sophisticated and advanced as medicine has become, we still don’t know what goes on with the inner workings of the brain. I hope you mom, as well as you, are doing okay. I will be thinking of you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley December 20, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      She does have a UTI, which can affect behavior, as a stroke can, too. As soon as I’m well enough, I plan to visit her. I miss her, which is interesting because I’ve seen far more of my parents since her stroke than I usually do.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pieces of Bipolar December 21, 2015 / 12:15 pm

        Maybe this is a chance to get to know her in a different light. Become reacquainted perhaps. Enjoy the time with her – our mom’s are always our mom’s no matter what the illness or behavior. I hope you’re feeling better soon, Kitt

        Liked by 1 person

        • Kitt O'Malley December 21, 2015 / 11:14 pm

          Yes. Tomorrow I plan to visit and just wear a mask to minimize transmitting the virus I have.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. pavanneh December 19, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    So sorry your Mom is going through this. However, like someone said she would still benefit from the group therapy even though she can’t talk. And it may help with her social anxiety as she will need to interact with others. It is a difficult time for all of you. I hope things get better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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