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The Story: Why it's called "My Longest Year"

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His Longest Year

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    A few pictures from J.'s Longest Year...

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Try to visit a health worker and ask some advice. They can be a great help to your problem. Just don't lose hope!


Thanks for the advice. They did have a home eval person come in. I think they have quite a few obstacles, but we will see...

Best,
Crystal

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Subject: [My Longest Year] Jen submitted a comment to 'losing independence'.
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 20:50:20 -0700
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Crystal, I'm chiming in so late, sorry!
Not sure if you ever knew...but I'm a Physical Therapist. I work with elderly folks and I can tell you that a broken hip does not have to be the beginning of the end. :-)
They can definitely move back home, but it is of utmost importance to have someone (a physical therapist, occupational therapist, RN) do a home evaluation to see what needs to be done to make the home safe. Things such as: removing throw rugs, moving phone cords, electrical cords, and furniture out of the flow of traffic. Installing grab bars in bathtubs / shower stalls, as well as non-slip pads. Ordering raised toilet seats and shower seats (this should be done prior to leaving the rehab hospital), for the return home.
A home health aide can come to the home and help cook simple meals and do light house cleaning 1-5 days a week, and it's fairly affordable.
I think it's important that they both stay as active as possible, and have someone "safe" to talk to their feelings about. Most folks don't want to "burden" a family member with the feelings that come along with aging and the accompanying issues.

Hope this helps!!
Hugs,
Jennifer


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Crystal, I'm chiming in so late, sorry!
Not sure if you ever knew...but I'm a Physical Therapist. I work with elderly folks and I can tell you that a broken hip does not have to be the beginning of the end. :-)
They can definitely move back home, but it is of utmost importance to have someone (a physical therapist, occupational therapist, RN) do a home evaluation to see what needs to be done to make the home safe. Things such as: removing throw rugs, moving phone cords, electrical cords, and furniture out of the flow of traffic. Installing grab bars in bathtubs / shower stalls, as well as non-slip pads. Ordering raised toilet seats and shower seats (this should be done prior to leaving the rehab hospital), for the return home.
A home health aide can come to the home and help cook simple meals and do light house cleaning 1-5 days a week, and it's fairly affordable.
I think it's important that they both stay as active as possible, and have someone "safe" to talk to their feelings about. Most folks don't want to "burden" a family member with the feelings that come along with aging and the accompanying issues.

Hope this helps!!
Hugs,
Jennifer

I just now read your post and it hit home. My MIL is in Assisted Living on a short term basis. She went to therapy, then AL for one month, and she is to come home Thursday (three days). I don't know how it's going to go. We do have a nurse practitioner that is going to come over and help her out with some basic chores a couple of times a week for three hours at a time. Laundry, groceries, changing the sheets on her bed, whatever else she needs. She has a life-line around her neck. It actually saved her life once. I no longer make fun of the commercial, "I've fallen and I can't get up." She fell, it was a stroke, life-line saved her by getting her to the hospital within the three hour time frame. She also has a cleaning lady, and church friends. We also put support bars in her shower, and installed a higher toilet stool. We took up the rugs and just tried to make her house as 'fall proof' as possible. We are the only two in town, and we will go over there whenever possible. She moved to a condo, so that was helpful. Let me know how things go for your grandparents. I will be thinking about you.

Does their hospital have a specific Elder Care program? A specific geriatrics program? This is a good site for the caregiver (e.g., your mom): http://www.caregiver.org/caregiver/jsp/content_node.jsp?nodeid=344

Also, check the eldercare.gov website and the AARP website for information related to these issues.

Sorry they are going through a very rough patch but I have high hopes that this is not the beginning of the end, but just the beginning of something different.

There are a lot, a LOT of different things they can do, move into a new home that's more accessible, move into a retirement community, or just try their best at home and set them up with one of those life alert sorts of things.
Just because they've fallen once, doesn't mean they'll fall again, but they sound like they're of great sound mind to keep chugging along!
I hope you guys find the right solution for your family and for THEM most of all!

I also LOVED all the pictures of them in the hospital, they really captured those moments!

Crystal, I am a RN and deal with patients like this every day in my intermediate/critical care unit. My advice? Talk about it. Have your grandparents talk to your Mom and you about what they want. Make sure they have advance directives in place. A POA for healthcare, etc..

Rehab is good, and then back to reality. Make sure the house is safe (no throw rugs, etc) before they go home. Does it need to be modified to be safe?

As far as future planning in regards to where they may live, that is a tough one. Just keep the lines of communication open.

So terribly sorry to read this, Crystal. Your photos portray lovely, spunky, capable family and it will be tough. I'm still adjusting to our new reality with my mom.

Use the hospital social worker for guidance and ideas, visit every option/facility (a good thing you can do for your mom to whittle the list)and interview live-ins. (Take your girls and let them spread some sunshine!)Is there a university nearby? Someone who might be in nursing school and needs housing? There are lots of people to help- kind souls everywhere. And then just keep your cheerfulness stoked- it's the best fix for everyone involved. xoxo

My only advice is to allow them to keep their dignity in the safest environment possible. I will be praying for ALL of you.

No advice, sorry. But your post made me think of that lump-in-the-throat song "Where Have You Been?" It's from years ago. Martina McBride maybe? I know just hearing my husband's breathing during the night is sometimes all I need in the world. I am so sorry this has happened to them.

hi!! my grandma is pushing 90 and just went through a similar thing. last year they found she had colon cancer so she had to have surgery for cancer removal as well and an colosotomy bag...she went to a nursing/rehablitation home and didn't want to leave! she loved it there! she even got to use a Wii as physical therapy! she only stayed there for a few months and then went home where a month later she fractured her hip. back she went to the nursing home where she, again, didn't want to leave. my grandma has been "alone" for almost 28 years so she welcomed the company of the nursing home. i think your grandparents will be fine as long as they're together. what about an assited living complex? my grandma lived in one of those places too. they live on their own but can have people come and help them out when they need it; grocery shopping, medical care, etc. some of those assisted living complexes are attached to nursing homes so they can have access to the activities, dining hall and medical services. prayers for your grandparents speedy recovery!!

oh honey, the story I could tell you about my experience from my totally selfish immature point of view. good bad and ugly! I'll leave you with what my sister, who's worked in a nursing home for about 13 yeras, told me when my MIL had to go into a nursing home. You have to celebrate the life they had, and come to terms with what they have now. It can be celebrated too.

Oh I'm sorry - no words of advice, just support. My thoughts are with you all. Take care xx

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