Monday, July 27, 2015

The Price of Growing Old

I am sure many of my readers are going through some of the same trails as me, if not now they will in the future. Aging parents. My father will turn 80 in March and my mom is will be 74 in January. My father was very sick when I was 17 and fought his way back after a limb amputation and multiple organ shutdowns. Fast forward 25-30 years and he was pretty much healthy until about 7 years ago. He has had multiple TIA episodes, a mini stroke, more vascular surgery, and a week ago a full on stroke. Not a massive stroke, but a stroke none the less. I should also mention that when he was a child he suffered from polio which semi paralyzed one of his arms. I mention this because with an arm that doesn't work properly and a prosthetic leg he is at a severe disadvantage while trying to recover from the stroke.

My main purpose for the post and quite frankly my main gripe is the fact the when you get old there really isn't a lot of help out there for you unless you are wealthy or are willing to give up everything you do own to be placed in a nursing home. My father was in the hospital for two days and was released into my mother's care on the third day. Yes, you heard that right. Have a stroke then go home three days later and expect the elderly wife to pick him up and move him everywhere because he can't do it. To be eligible to go to rehab for 4-6 weeks a patient must be in the hospital for three days are more. I think the hospital is very good at discharging your right under the wire to not be able to receive that benefit. Also all the doctors are worried about is getting you out of the hospital then it is up to you for everything else. Every phone call ends in frustration. Literally no one wants to help find a solution.

In the process of trying to move my father both myself and my mother have now hurt our backs and cannot lift him any longer. We call his internist and his answer is bring him to the office to be checked on Wednesday. Ummm... okay. How do we transfer him to the car and then get him into the office, because no one at the office will help get him out of the car for my mom. At this point my husband is taking off work to help get him to the doctor's appointment. Well, that solves this one appointment and one problem. We still have weeks and weeks to go of therapy that in the long run really doesn't help all that much. Intensive therapy is needed to get his strength back in his upper body and one remaining leg to be somewhat mobile again and home therapy two days a week for one hour is just not going to cut it.

Seriously, if you are not independently wealthy and you get old with no children to help you, you are simply doomed. Sad, sad state of affairs with the care of our senior citizens. Okay - rant over - thank you for listening.


LJS said...

I'm sorry your Dad (and your whole Family) is dealing with this. I hope you are all able to find the help you need. Healing thoughts from CT.

Nicole said...

What an adorable couple. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. I am praying for a viable solution for you, Diane. Hugs.