Angela, 83 years old, was admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure. (Congestive heart failure is when your heart can't pump enough blood to the body's other organs. Fluid can collect in the lungs and interfere with breathing.) Angela was having trouble breathing. In addition, her diabetes got worse and she had to start getting insulin shots.
After two weeks she no longer needed hospital care but was too weak to care for herself. She was transferred to a nursing home to build up her strength and learn to give herself insulin shots.
Angela has been independent her whole life. She did not like being in a nursing home and wanted to go home. She felt she would get better faster in her familiar surroundings. She asked her niece to help.
The niece arranged for a hospital bed to be delivered to Angela's house. She also talked to the nurses and asked them to begin the insulin instruction immediately. The nurses wanted to take a few days to teach Angela to give herself the shots. At the insistence of her niece, however, Angela learned to administer insulin in a day. She was discharged to home with plans for a visiting nurse to check on her. Once home, Angela quickly improved.