Everyone has the stereotypical elderly patient.
Simple concepts become complex concepts. Deductibles are easy to understand. You pay $x out of your own pocket until your insurance kicks in. Simple. You have a better chance explaining quantum physics to Mrs Jones.
They dont listen. They are so damn stubborn they will sit there and ask the same question over and over and over. When you answer it, they ask it again! However they will listen to some douche on TV to call Liberty Health for free test machine but not their pharmacist. When you tell them that they dont need their Avandia filled because they picked it up 3 days ago, they will sit there and argue with you until they get it. When they finally stop stroking out and find it sitting right in front of them they wont even apologize for being so retarded.
Gullible as all hell (except when you talk). Salesman comes up to their door promising them a piece of gold the size of a thanksgiving turd if they switch to Wellcare. Guess who’s life got a bit harder when they come in for Rx refills? Of course it takes 30 questions, 3 hours of your time, and them bitching at you that their Rx’s arent covered for them to admit that they talked with a salesman (even though you told them not to).
Cheap as hell. They dont want to pay those $3.10 copays because they are on a “fixed income”. Yeah, if there wasn’t Medicare part D and you had nothing, you’d still be on a “fixed income”. Stop bitching and pay your fucking copays or i’ll glue your wheelchair to the ground.
Talking to them is like talking to a cow. Ever see the blank look a cow gives you? Ever see the blank look someone in their 80’s gives you?
Needy as all hell. They call you on a monday when you are swamped to tell you that they have not pooped in one day. They want you to call the doctor RIGHT NOW to get something so their bowels will move. Completely beside the fact they have not eaten anything since yesterday, poop somehow magically gets formed from nothing in their world. When you try to explain this to them, they obviously “dont get it” and just want some magical pill that will make their bowels explode. Thats when the Mag Citrate comes in. At least they’ll be shitting so hard they wont have a chance to get to the phone to call you.
They think they know more than anyone. Being around for 80+ years gives you a sense of empowerment and knowledge. Knowledge that somehow replaces going to grad school for 4 years and getting a degree.
They always lose/misplace/eat/destroy their medication. Of course it cant be like Lisinopril or something that costs pennies, but Avandia. They lose it like its going out of style. I swear that when half of my patients die I’m going to buy their house so I can recover the 1.3 million dollars of lost medications that are scattered about. Plus they refuse to acknowledge that they lost their medication! They just call in a refill 20 days early and expect you to fill it. Oh, did I mention that they dont wish to pay for said lost medication replacement?
Comes in with a smile on her face, and a few flies buzzing around inside her empty head. She comes in, plunks down 10 bottles from 7 different pharmacies, then hands you a fistful of Rx’s and wants them all filled. About 3/4 of what doctor writes for isn’t covered, and she sits there an argues with you about why you need to call the doctor to get them changed.
Medicare part D has to be the cruelest joke that anyone could ever play on the elderly. Lets take a concept that takes working in the industry to fully understand, throw it at the segment of the population who cant tie their shoes without assistance, and see what happens. Add-on salesmen offering lapdances, free geritol, and 24 hours of Jag reruns and you have yourself a real problem.
People say “Well thats where the pharmacist comes in!”. Bullshit. We are not insurance agents, salesmen, or explainers. We do not get a fat check from AARP for helping these idiots out understanding the coverage gap or deductibles.
Theres really only a few problems when dealing with the old folk. When I say old-folk I mean in their late 70’s to 80’s. When you bring up that patient profile, see a fat age of 85, a piece of you dies as you pick up the phone to take the call.
I hope that if I make it to 80+ years old (highly unlikely) that I can be a burden on everyone like our current aging population is. I figure that its just proper paybacks. Lord knows that I’ll never see a dime of the fistfuls of cash I’m throwing away on the current Medicare system.
PS: I just got an email that some of the professors at UOP are angry at me for trashing their White Coat Ceremony. Guess who’s getting another entry!!!