Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Review: Making Rounds with Oscar (book: 4/150)

As you know I'm a big nursing home opponent but Making Rounds with Oscar the story of a nursing home cat who is capable of predicting when patients are going to die. Made me think that all of them might not be evil. Oscar lives in Steer House, a nursing home in Rhodie Island where he supports people who have severe dementia. He is one of 8 cats at the facility.

About 3 years ago people have been getting reported that Oscar was hanging out with patients hours before they died. Doctor David Dosa, being a man of science, didn't believe this until he started talking to family members of those that Oscar sat with and saw with his own eyes. What came out in the end was this book which is very emotional and difficult to read at times, especially for me when you get to the story of the Rubinsteins.

I felt most sorry for Ida, who was in the nursing home because Rhodie Island either just doesn't offer good home care or she's not aware or it. Part of me wants to go find Ida and import her to Massachusetts where she can get good services.

Things I'm still not sure about that this book says:

1. People are about to die do not feel hungry and therefore not inserting a feeding tube is not cruel. I don't know about this i always thought starving to death would be unpleasant whether i was about to die or not.
2. Well I'm not a huge fan euthanasia i am now beginning to wonder if for some people it might be an OK choice provided of course that they know personally know of things like home care and power wheelchairs. As this is most often not the case i think i can delay thinking about this for a while.

Things this book said that i agree with:

1. Medicare should pay for home care. Medicaid does. I'm very lucky that i have became disabled before i turned 62 because im eligible. If you become disabled after your medicaid eligible your screwed because medicaid won't help you stay in your house even thought science says that its better for you because your surrounded by familiar things and people.
2. Dementia is a very scary thing. It's the one disability (other than severe MCS) that I'd have trouble dealing with. I can't imagine not being able to help direct my own care.
3. If it's a choice between the ICU or Oscar. I'd choose to die with Oscar if I knew the ICU wasn't going to help any, anyway. Better yet, I choose to die in my own house with my friends, my assistants, my family, my own pets.

I rate this book an 8/10. It made me question some long held beliefs. That's always a good thing.

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