As I sit here in a hospital room, not how I planned to spend my New Years Eve, I have some questions for the smart folks here. Now before I explain the situation below the fold I know there isn't a "right" or "exact" answer to any of the questions I will ask. Heck I might actually answer them myself. But with that said being a long time member here and reading Diaries like KosAbility, I know a lot of folks here have experienced and dealt with what my family is dealing with now. Any thoughts and/or suggestions would be very welcome.
My grandfather is 94. I wrote a Diary about him here just the other day.
Well Wednesday night he had a massive heart attack. My uncle/his son rushed him to the hospital and left him there, cause you know he needed to pack for a trip. Why I mention this will make sense in a few graphs. Normally the first call would have been to my mother (his daugther), but they were hundreds of miles away on vacation.
My parents as they rushed home had just been told he fell down, which happens more often then any of us would like, cause he just won't slow down. Tries to do everything like he is 64 and not 94.
Well when they got to the hospital they were informed in fact it was a heart attack and his heart was operating at about 20% of the capacity it should. Now the very good news is it is awake and very alert.
Soon after hearing this news the doctor and nurse pulled my mother aside and said her brother and sister had already made arrangements for a nurse home.
Now as a kid my father use to have this phrase he used when somebody helped him out, just cause they could and never wanted anything in return. He'd call them a "scholar and a saint." Well my mother and father are that in spades. My patience, and I deal with these issues rarely, well I wouldn't be nearly as "nice" and "polite."
My uncle and aunt have been trying to get power of attorney and put him in a nursing home for years. My mother will have none of that. Now if he was a danger to himself or had a bad case of Alzheimers I could maybe see the logic in this. But it isn't a danger to himself and his mind, as my father and I like to note, maybe more sharp them our own.
And even though they only live a mile or two from his house, with four of his grandchildren the same distance away they do nothing to help out. My mom cooks all his meals. She calls him each morning at 6 AM and 8 PM. She and my father take him to doctor appointments.
They are the only family members that take him out to eat or shop. The only ones that invite him to any family events. Take him to church each Sunday. It is sad beyond words!
More sad cause he has some financial means. It would seem being a union tool and die maker and a spend thrift you can save a lot of money over a 94 year lifetime. Every six months he writes each of this children a $5,000 check trying to give away his money. He has done this for years.
But I am getting off track .....
There is no way we'll put him in a nursing home. We feel (1) If he was just put into one for a few weeks for rehab, we'd never get him out of the place (2) We feel a nursing home would be close to a "death sentence" for him. He'd just "give up." His wife of 57 years passed away 14 years ago. Now everybody he knew in life that isn't a family member is no longer with us. That has to take a toll on somebody. We feel if we took away the last thing he values, his ability to pretty much take care of himself, his independence, he might just "give up."
The good news is once my parents got to the hospital and talked to the staff they all agreed. Said far too often they see family members put a loved one in a nursing home just so they don't have to deal with them.
Now I am pissed by father hasn't talked to his lawyer about this before, heck he is on retainer, but as long as my grandfather is mentally stable two family members can't just put somebody in a nursing home can they?
My next question is about rehab. As so many have talked about here and I have as well when I got really sick years ago, doctors often don't seem to provide much information to patients and family members.
We have no idea what rehab is needed. Now he will be in the hospital for a few more days, so I guess closer to his release they'll let us know. But what the heck do you do to rehab a 94 year old person?
Sorry, I know this is kind of disjointed. I might not have even asked the right questions. I am just kind of a bull in a china shop. I am trying to stay out of things and let me mother and father handle it and just provide positive support.
I'd like to find my uncle Bob in the parking garage and have a "little" talk with him. But that wouldn't help things. I'd like to corner the Doctor and demand some answers. What rehab is needed? Is surgery at his age not an option? How about some information. But again that most likely wouldn't help things.
So you folks now have to read me rant and bitch instead ..... thanks for letting me do that.