Selling Ice to Eskimos

I often mention this phrase wen people ask how I convince people who need a hospital but are refusing one to go and be evaluated by a physician.
I just talk them into it.

There is a method to getting people to do what you want.  Building rapport, inclusion of decision, small examples, short actions, lots and lots of steps between "I don't want to go" and "There's no way I'm letting you leave me here."

Sometimes we have to do this dance quickly and other times we have all the time in the world.

Enter Edna.

Edna has been found sitting in a wheelchair, thin legs crossed, asking anyone who walks by for spare change.  She's small for her 88 years on this Earth and very thin, dehydration is evident at first glance of her paper thin and wrinkled arms.  Her clothes are not dirty, but also not clean and one of the lenses of her thick glasses has cracked and is being held in with tape that slightly obscures a clear cataracts.

When no one can figure out how to help Edna, they call EMS.  When prompted by the dispatchers as to the nature of the emergency, the caller assumes Edna is hungry and tells them "Her stomach hurts."

That's how we were sent to the "88 year old female abdominal pain, unable to walk."

Edna is in good spirits as we arrive but quickly assures us she "ain't goin' to no murder hospital" as we begin the complicated task of obtaining a complete assessment and physical on a feisty octogenarian who is coy as to how she got to where she is and how long she's been parked there.

Enter Brian.
Brian is Edna's adult son.  That is all we get from him as he gives her a kiss on the forehead and says "These guys will take you to the hospital mom, bye."  And he was gone.  By the time PD and EMS figured out he was not simply looking for a bag or making a phone call it was too late.

Brian left Edna with us.

Edna wasn't surprised, apparently this was their plan.  Fly half way around the world and call an ambulance.  Brian can't take care of Edna anymore so they looked at a map and chose a place she had always wanted to visit...and here she is.

She doesn't trust Doctors but she's needed one for a few decades it looks like.  BGL low, ECG in a 1st degree and a few PACs here and there.  She needs a few months of steady rest, good healthy food and some exercise.  The chair is just for comfort, not for need.

We can't leave here here.  We can't forcibly remove her.  It has to be her idea.

So the sales pitch begins.

We discuss how cold the area she is in is going to get and ask PD about getting her blankets knowing they have none and will reply the same.  Food is mentioned, sandwiches and soups as well as tea and coffee.  She mentioned having slept on planes and in airports the last few days so I put everything together in my final pitch:

"Tell you what Edna.  If nothing else, hows about a decent meal, a warm comfortable mattress and someone to check on you every 10 minutes to see what you need?"

Her eye shifted from me to her lap where she straightened the impossibly wrinkled nightgown she's clearly been wearing for days.
"I'd like you to take me there and I promise I won't yell at the Doctors."

PD looked for Brian for an hour or so with no luck.  Turns out that wasn't his real name after all.