Naturally, if you care for an elderly family member or friend, you want your loved one to be treated with dignity and respect—at restaurants, shopping centers, medical appointments and wherever they go.
A retired nurse named Teri observed that caring, respectful attitude at The Christ Hospital after her 92-year-old mother fell and hurt her arm.
"The elderly population isn't always treated very well, and I get so upset about that," says Teri. "But I feel like Dr. Rao and her team at The Christ Hospital really cared about my mom. They were kind and patient and wanted to do the best for her."
Teri's mom's doctor was Allison Rao, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with extensive training in sports medicine and care of the shoulder and elbow.
Finding care for her mom at The Christ Hospital
Like many senior citizens, Teri's mother wants to be independent for as long as possible, and she still manages pretty well with a walker. Her mom cooks her own meals, cares for her home and loves to watch old movies. But one day in the spring of 2021, she fell backward and injured her elbow.
"Initially, when I first saw my mom's elbow, it did not look horrible," remembers Teri. "A day and a half later, I went over, and the wound had grown larger and much worse."
Teri decided to drive her mother to the emergency department at The Christ Hospital campus in Mt. Auburn.
"The ER physician who saw her was very nice and told us what was happening," says Teri. "Her arm was not fractured, but she had a large laceration. They cleaned it, wrapped it and gave her antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection."
Back home, Teri changed her mom's bandages every other day and later took her to Dr. Rao for a follow-up appointment.
Listening Well and Offering Treatment Options
To help Teri's mom's wound heal properly, Dr. Rao suggested a couple options. She could have outpatient surgery to deep clean, remove damaged tissue and close the wound. Or, she could make a series of visits to the wound care department.
"Dr. Rao couldn't have been nicer. She took time to carefully explain to my mom and me the pros and cons of the surgical procedure and going through wound care," says Teri. "My mom elected to do surgery."
Teri appreciated receiving updates about her mother's condition throughout the procedure.
"They kept me informed and the whole surgical process was exceptionally smooth," says Teri.
Teri is also thrilled that Dr. Rao did not dismiss her concern about anesthesia for her elderly mother. The team was able to accommodate their wishes to use a regional block instead of general anesthesia.
Friendly post-surgical care
After surgery, Teri's mom wore a splint on her elbow for several days and her wound healed nicely.
When Teri needed to call the office about some swelling in her mother's elbow, Dr. Rao's team was professional and answered her questions promptly. And during post-surgical office visits, they never felt rushed.
"Dr. Rao and her team were caring and personable. They always took time to talk and always had my mom's best interests in mind," says Teri.
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