Last week I made a quick, last-minute trip to Nashville, Tennessee. Nana and grandpa both fell and broke their hips within a week of each other. They're lucid. They have their wits about them. They've built a life for themselves and have their routines. They've lived a long, happy life and now it's happening. They're losing their independence.
They were in different rooms, on different floors. I toggled back and forth between them. At first we had a good time, laughing a little at the situation. But then, toward the evening they each got somber. Reality is setting in and they're not happy. The short-term plan is to share a room at an in-patient rehab center. But after that? There is a laundry list of reasons that life is going to be difficult if they attempt to go back to their home and their life as it was before.
Nana is pissed. And Grandpa is just somber. "I guess it's the beginning of the end, Crys." I'm more hopeful. Yes, they're up there in years. But I'm hopeful that a broken hip doesn't mean the end. Having said that, the fact that both of them are at major risk for falling again, it does mean they have turned a corner. And now have a lot of realities to face.
I can't imagine what this must feel like. To be held hostage by a body that fails you. And be cared for (and treated) like a three year old, especially after all that they've been through in their life. They've worked especially hard for their home and their life. And now people are telling them they may have to give it up.
As overwhelming as this all is for them, it's also a bit overwhelming for my mom, who is an only child. She's there with them now, but she lives across the country, and isn't as capable of caring for them as she'd like to be. And they're stubborn and mad and not taking suggestions well. This has to be hard for all of them.
Do any of you have any advice? Online forums? Resources?