Monday, June 6, 2016

Taking A Deep Breath, Doing What I Can Do. Letting The Rest Go.

Attempting to process the situation in my family is leaving me with an urge to slap someone upside the head. I keep breathing deeply and telling myself to let it go. I can't change part of it and allowing it to eat at me won't help the situation and might actually hurt me.

My 93 year old uncle wound up back in the hospital over Memorial weekend with seizures and bloody vomit. The uncle that is executor of the will seemed to be handling things so I kind of stayed out of it. I was told he was going to be getting meals on wheels and home care so I chose not to stick my nose where it isn't wanted. I stopped in for a visit with him on Saturday and found out the whole story isn't exactly the way I was lead to believe.

He can't enter an assisted living facility. He makes too much money to be Medicaid eligible and not enough to pay for the rent there on his own. So, they then applied to the Office for the Aging to receive meals on wheels and a home health aide to assist with showers and cleaning his apartment. He's on a waiting list for both. Waiting list for these things when I retired was 18 months to 2 years.

I told them a month ago it was like this, but I didn't know what I was talking about. So, when everything I told my executor uncle turned out to be the truth, did they call and ask me if I could help? Of course not. They just left my 93 year old uncle without. As I got told on Sunday afternoon, he belongs in a nursing home. Except he's not in a nursing home and there are things he can't do for himself. His mind is sharp, it's the container it's in that is the problem. His body is letting him down. He will not go into a nursing home and no doctor will order it because his mind is too sharp.

For 15 years I did home care for a living. I know what to do and I know what he needs to be safe in his home. Are they listening to me? OH HELL NO. They keep telling me I cant do that because the visiting nurse and the physical therapist don't want that.

He is a fall precaution. However, instead of the walker without wheels they assigned him one with 2 wheels. It takes a forceful push to move it over the grout lines in the ceramic tile floors. I suggested a 4 wheel with a basket and a seat. First I was told it was too heavy and he wouldn't be able to fold it and place it in the vehicle when he went anywhere. His doctor has told him no driving. So, someone can't help him do that when they take him anywhere? Then the story is he can't have it because he's a fall precaution and it might roll away from him causing him to fall. However, a walker that he can't use while trying to fix himself something to eat or drink and carry it to the table in the dining area won't make him fall because he can't use it at all while carrying his food or hot coffee.

With a 4 wheeled walker that has a seat, he can place his food and beverage on the seat and roll it to his dining area. We can't have that because the PT and the visiting nurse say no. The visiting nurse doesn't do anything except set up his meds from a tray of prescription bottles she stores on the ceramic cooktop of his stove. It's on the back, which doesn't wash with me because no stove has only 2 burners. There are also 2 more burners in the back of the stove. However, those people who know more than I do because they went to college, don't feel this is a fire hazard. Metal tray, ceramic top and controls on the front of the stove where they can be easily turned on by brushing against them. I was told he doesn't use the stove except it's greasy and has food particles on it. How long have they been there?

So, what we have here is an Aunt and Uncle, 2 cousins with spouses and grown children who couldn't pick up a spray bottle and wipe the damn stove clean? And what we also have here is me, who knows how to help him stay as independent as he can, being told to go clean his home and mind my own business.

It's going to be cooler here later this week. I think I'll bake a pie. He was always partial to pie. I'm also sure a few meals he can pop into the microwave won't come amiss either. Might find his appetite since he used to like my cooking. Might stop some of the weight loss since he'd actually have food in the house to eat. Who knows?


  1. Oh Sherry, how heartbreaking and I am sure how maddening and frustrating this must be for you.
    I really don't know what to say except I think you go do what you can do for him and heck with what those relatives say. I bet your uncle will appreciate you caring about him.

    1. I'm just going to visit with him, do some cleaning for him and leave the rest alone.