94 Years Old and Home For Christmas...


94 Years Old and Home For Christmas...

Merry-Christmas-Photos-24... 60 days, 9 weeks, 3 ER visits, 3 hospitals, 2 rehab facilities and 1 surgery later! Pretty stark statistics when written in black and white. Mom, if nothing goes wrong between today and Friday, will finally come home and our lives will again change. She is now completely non-weight bearing on her left leg.

So I am in the middle of learning more new things in this three-year caregiving journey. I guess I am fortunate, the team at rehab is working hard to make this transition easier. In our meeting I was expecting to feel opposition rather than support when they asked me if we had a room on the first floor that she could move into. Well, the honest answer to that is yes. We have a room that is my husband's office. But the answer is really no. Mom has been calling two rooms and a bathroom upstairs in our house "home" for over three years now. She proudly points that out to people who come. "Isn't this nice?" she says, "I have my own bedroom, a sitting/TV room and a bathroom."

Mom has always been a private person, unwilling to intrude in our personal day to day lives. She has always taken her meals upstairs (except for family gatherings and holidays) and only came down on the stair lift to get a little exercise and help empty the dishwasher occasionally. Why should I put her in one room, when she can have the semi-normalcy of her own rooms? So, believe it or not, they were very supportive. Of course, once she is up there it is pretty much for good. Unless we get pretty creative, I am not sure we can transfer her to the lift to get her up and down.

But with Mom you never know, she continues to surprise us.

Now it is the delivery and learning curve. I have given up on two fights. Hubby has been loudly adamant that to protect my bad back I will not do anything that could cause it harm. We really wanted an electric Hoya lift and electric bed. Ah, here comes Medicare regulations. NO, NO a thousand times NO. These are convenience items. I can accept that, all I wanted was for Medicare to pay what they would normally pay and we would pick up the rest of the costs. Unfortunately that is not how it works...all or nothing. So today I see if a manual lift can be used without twisting, straining or somehow hurting my back. As far as the bed is concerned, I am told it will have electric head and foot adjustments, but if the whole bed needs to be raised or lowered it will have to be cranked. That I will not or cannot do... it is just begging for an injury. So others will have to do it for me if we find out it needs to be adjusted. The things we keep finding out. The rehab wanted a better mattress for her. She has developed one open sore on her skinny old butt and we are trying to get it healed. NO again. Believe it or not you have to have TWO open wounds before Medicare will pay for a mattress to help prevent skin breakdown. Seems to me it would cost Medicare a lot less in the long run to pay for 20 higher grade mattresses for patients than it would to treat only one of these patients if they develop a wound that needs "wound care" including a "wound vac". Don't you think? Oh, but there I go again, being logical. That said, the head nurse has found a company to supply us with a gel overlay for the mattress with an out of pocket cost of only $170. Remind me to hug her!


Through this many people have been so helpful. The nicest surprise came from the strangest place. This summer we wanted to get rid of an old ride on lawn mower that couldn't handle the hill in our back yard. We put it out by the road with a sign on it: "Free to a good home." Later in the week two young men in a pick-up truck stopped by and picked it up. I asked them if they wanted the extra blade and owners manual and they said it was just for scrap metal which was their business. They introduced themselves, gave me a flyer and pointed out that they were insured and bonded. I even knew the owner of the insurance agency they mentioned. I kept that flyer and I am so glad I did. Mom slept on a queen size bed. Now I have to get it out of the second floor and down to our family room in the basement. So I called them and asked if that was something they might do? Sure they said. So yesterday Mike and Andrew took off their boots without asking, and very carefully took apart the bed, frame and headboard, carried them down two flights of stairs and put it all back together. Not a single thing scraped, broken or dropped! When I asked how much, they said whatever you want to pay us. Makes you smile, doesn't it?


Keep your fingers and toes crossed for us that it all comes together. Our goal was to get her home for the holidays... we missed Thanksgiving, but we will make Christmas. For at least one more year we will have Mom here for Christmas and to toast in the New Year with me, hubby and her two grandchildren. 'Tis the Season, don't you think? We are blessed and may you all be blessed as well.

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TDM, I am keeping my fingers crossed! Thank goodness for the head nurse, the gel overlay and for Mike and Andrew. I am so sorry that Medicare is being so unreasonable and, frankly, stupid. Very glad that you and your husband are watching out for your health and well-being, too. Sending blessings and prayers for the holidays.


TDM, What a season of Hope you have entered into! Great news and Hugs to your Mom for being able to leave Rehab!! I am so glad your hubby is putting his foot down on keeping your back healthy :) I wish you well in your preparations and love the blessing of the young men!


Have you look at your local second hand stores in your area, I had found an electric hospital bed at one of ours but at that time I wasn't ready. I then talk to one of my friend who husband had pass away a year or so ago and so she sold me a new lift chair and electric hospital bed for 50. And I did have to get a new mattress for 700.00, but that was better then 2,000 I thought we were going to have to spend. We are luckily on a one story house and like your mom, my mom has her own space, living room and bedroom and her own bathroom. She moved in with us on Oct 25. It's has been a learning experience with us especially with the colostomy. I also have a bad back and it is very hard at time. Like you I love that my mom is still here.


Thanks for your support my friends. What a trip we caregivers go on. It is so nice to meet others who understand what it is like. Strangers across the miles who seem to read our minds with compassion and become sisters and brothers without judgement. How special.