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Hospitalization, trying to not panic...
CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 7:39 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


My dad fell this morning and wasn't right. They took him away in an ambulance for the hospital and my sister is going there now. Mom (pwd) was getting upset about it but I think I calmed her down for now and she's good. She's got some giggles and cuddles.

We've tried contacting his work but only have his coworkers numbers and told them. We've contacted immediate family about what happened.

I'm probably going to call the caregiver hotline later when I get a chance just to maybe get some guidance. I'm lost and a bit stressed out.

I don't know what will happen to our family if dad needs a lot of care going forward. Mom's a handful already. We've no money either...

Just needed to tell someone else. Hope y'all are ok this day. I'm trying.

 


May flowers
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 7:45 AM
Joined: 4/9/2021
Posts: 513


Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s fall. Hugs and prayers for you… please keep us posted
CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 8:29 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


So far it looks to have been a stroke on the left side of the brain. They got the clot out and wrapping up the surgery for that. He seems to be doing better than they were expecting at least. 

So far they're keeping him overnight.

Thank you may flowers


toolbeltexpert
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 8:33 AM
Joined: 4/17/2018
Posts: 630


So sorry for your dad, hoping for a God outcome
Quilting brings calm
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 8:33 AM
Joined: 10/16/2020
Posts: 1017


That seems like really prompt treatment anyway on the hospitals part, since you mention that he fell this morning ( assuming you are  in the USA and it’s still early).  Hopefully it’s a good sign that they only seem to be planning on keeping him overnight. Keep us posted.
M1
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 9:09 AM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2498


So so sorry.  Early interventions for stroke are so important, but he will be in the hospital for a while, it will take a while for things to settle down and for them to see what the impairments will be.  Left side of the brain means right side of the body; if he's right-handed, this could be significant impairment on his dominant side.  And speech, unfortunately.  Fingers crossed.

Yes I would call the hotline.  I would anticipate that he will not be able to be the caregiver for your mother for quite a while, if ever.  I don't remember from your other posts, do you or your sister have POA for both of them?  If not, you are likely going to need it, so talking to a certified elder law attorney (look at nelf.org) may help.  You may need to figure out finances for care for both of them now.

Again I am so sorry--keep us posted please as you can.


M1
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 9:13 AM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2498


A caveat about keeping him "overnight":  Medicare rules require that people be admitted for "observation" for 24 hours and then converted to hospital admission.  but he will need to be in the hosptial AS AN ADMISSION for three days to qualify to go to rehab.  I would ask about this early.  I know you probably feel overwhelmed, but I would ask to talk to a discharge planner/social worker ASAP, you need to explain the difficulties of your situation and enlist them to help in any way they can.  You need to tell them that he was the primary caregiver for your mother, too.
CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 9:31 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Thank you everyone!

He is left handed, praise be! That's one good thing. Currently his right side is unresponsive but my sister who is there says his speech is getting better as they interact. 

Yes, things seem to be moving fast as far as treatment is going. We called 911 as soon as we figured we couldn't get him up and he was taken to the hospital about half an hour after we first found him. I heard him fall from my room, thinking it was my mom, and rushed across the hall. When the paramedics came, I misspoke and said he had a history of strokes instead of heart attacks so they were already thinking "stroke" when they whisked him away. Had to pry his hands off the door frames a couple of times! So like him...

He just turned 64 so I'm a little worried about getting elder care, since a lot of places have it at 65, but mom is in her early 70s so that might help?


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 9:42 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


About POA, DPOA, no, no one has it. We're looking into a guardianship for mom because she can no longer sign, which sucks. Dad dragged his feet while my sisters and I were trying to get things in order for mom so it's been a struggle for some things.

Right now dad was mostly mom's caretaker for the late evenings, early mornings, and Saturday morning and sometimes to late afternoon until I get off work. My sisters and I care for her during the week throughout the day and mornings after he leaves for work. My younger sister and dad and I take care of her collectively on Sundays.

I've been thinking we needed more help before something happened. Well, I think that something has happened now!


Victoria2020
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 11:00 AM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1298


M1 wrote:
A caveat about keeping him "overnight":  Medicare rules require that people be admitted for "observation" for 24 hours and then converted to hospital admission.  but he will need to be in the hosptial AS AN ADMISSION for three days to qualify to go to rehab.  I would ask about this early.  I know you probably feel overwhelmed, but I would ask to talk to a discharge planner/social worker ASAP, you need to explain the difficulties of your situation and enlist them to help in any way they can.  You need to tell them that he was the primary caregiver for your mother, too.

Keep a log of who you talked to, or left a message with , name , title [best you know] and  what was said. 

Also, since he is employed and 64 years old , you've got medical and disability insurance issues to deal with-- last thing you want is for him to be let go for no-show and lose benefits. I'd try to call his HR department today and be vague at this point -- since you don't know the final outcome  -in hospital after fall- they're checking  him out so that he isn't marked as absent without notice.

 Get a disability employment lawyer ASAP to help navigate how to keep/ maximize benefits. Just thank his friends for checking but every word can get back to HR, and be twisted  . Some companies do all they can benefits wise , some just turn it over to HR and the insurance carriers to minimize their costs. It stinks to have to play defense and not be able to share and get comfort from the employer and co-workers but bottom-line, benefits are money.

I am really sorry to hear this happened, your folks are so fortunate to have such great children.

 


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 11:32 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Thanks Victoria. I don't think he has any benefits, certainly doesn't act like he does. Despite us living with him, we don't know much about his job. We're currently scrambling to find information. I'll keep trying to get in touch with his work. One coworker said they contacted the boss but you're right that we shouldn't assume that will work. Thanks again.
mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 11:44 AM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 586


Cats, my thoughts are with you and yours. So very sorry for this new and difficult situation!  I’m sending positive energy your way. Let us know.
Victoria2020
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 11:55 AM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1298


Tax returns should have W-2 or 1099 info. If it is work "under the table" but he paid taxes as self employed  check with professional if that will qualify in your state for short or long term disability , SSDI etc. 

One state, one law firm's discussion:

  https://www.bergerandgreen.com/faqs/will-i-qualify-for-disability-if-i-was-paid-under-the-table/

as a starting point .

 


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 11:58 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Currently looking at CELAs in my area. Three are local, within 20mins drive. We've contacted the secretary or receptionist from his work; told my sister to be vague about it but she said she forgot to do so.

Dad had been thinking about getting him and mom into a "independent living community" so I guess I will go ahead and start working on that for him while we deal with this new event.

Never talked to a lawyer before and I have phone anxiety so pray for me to not chicken out and to complete the call :'(


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 12:00 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Taxes might be an issue but thanks again Victoria for pointing me in the right direction! I will keep at it
jmlarue
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 2:13 PM
Joined: 12/12/2020
Posts: 282


From what I've read, I think you'll find that your folks would not be a good fit for Independent Living. It's not really conducive to offering assistance to someone with dementia or stroke deficits. The term "independent" means just that, usually. You might find an Assisted Living facility that might work - it really all depends on how much "assistance" they provide. May I suggest you contact your "Area or Regional Council on Aging?" Describe the current circumstances and explain that you are looking for caregiving assistance for both your parents. At the least, they should be able to point you to the appropriate resources that may be available.
CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 3:59 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Dad seems to be okay but they're stumped on why sometimes he has control of his right side and other times doesn't.

I've gotten in contact with a law firm that has a CELA and currently looking for POA and then probably something like estate planning so we can get financial help and apply for Medicaid to get them placed somewhere with 24/7 care in the near future. My sister and I cannot care for them both and our other sister has taken too much on as it is. Our house is also not that great for people with disabilities so we all want to avoid having them stay at home for safety.

Thank you JMLARUE, you're always so practical and straight forward. I appreciate that. I'm not sure of the correct terminology and went with what came to mind first, but you're right. I'm checking with the place dad had been wanting to go to to see if they offer assisted living and if mom and dad would be eligible to go there. Not sure if I should wait to hear back from them or to keep looking.


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 5:41 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


They're keeping dad to at least Wednesday. Running an MRI in the morning hours. 

I'm a little worried running night-time caregiving for mom without him here. Things seem okay for now.

Thank you everyone for checking in.


M1
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 6:59 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2498


They'll be looking for brain changes with the MRI--but it's still very early, the imaging won't be definitive for quite a while.  He will also be at risk for bleeding for a while (they give clot-busting drugs when they remove a clot as he has had done today).  I would expect he'll be there past Wednesday but that's good,  you're going to need the time to plan.
CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Monday, June 20, 2022 10:21 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Thanks M1. Dad said he was hopeful for discharge tomorrow and I held my tongue. I managed to go see him and he seemed almost his usual, if but a little tired. I started to doubt if I should go forward with trying to place them somewhere. (I also told dad that I was looking at the place that he mentioned but he had no idea what I was talking about... Not sure if that's from the stroke or he didn't mean that location specifically when he last brought it up. He's confused about dates.)

I'm going to try and stick to my guns, they should not be in this house if we can help it. I think placement for mom while she still has some understanding of what's going on is important. It should have happened sooner, that they were somewhere for elders with memory care or something.

I'm so thankful that I have very understanding bosses who are working with me on trying to make sure mom still has care and that dad's okay. I'm so thankful that the paramedics got dad to the hospital quickly. I'm so thankful for all of you who've given me tips or a listening ear.


M1
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 1:22 AM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2498


Cats I would tell the discharge planners that you cannot care for him at home right now.  Push for him to go to rehab, it will buy you time.  Hopefully he will need some physical therapy to recover? That will probably be determined tomorrow.
Fairyland
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 1:41 AM
Joined: 5/5/2021
Posts: 137


Cats, also make sure to note and emphasise any deficits you see - I find with my mom, who had a stroke last week and is in the hospital  I am told things like “she is oriented to time”, well she totally was not BEFORE her stroke. My aunt who sits with her for hours, reports she is in fact much worse and very patchy about time, place and word-finding. They don’t know what he was like beforehand and I often feel these tests are very cursory, one correct guess and boom, the patient has passed the test and therefore they are diagnosed as fine when you know they are NOT fine.
CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 9:08 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Thanks again M1 and also Fairyland for your valued input. I'll see what I can do for him on those regards.

Mom wants to see dad and he her. She's somewhere mid to just starting late stages I think, depending on what scale.


harshedbuzz
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 10:21 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 3648


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble wrote:

Mom wants to see dad and he her. She's somewhere mid to just starting late stages I think, depending on what scale.


Piling on with the others. You need to be a strong advocate to get your dad sent to a rehab for PT, OT and speech services rather than allow him to come directly home. You need to start being the squeaky wheel with the SW/discharge planners now.

Getting dad into a rehab will give you time to catch your breath, regroup, and make sound decisions about next steps with fewer distractions. What kind of health insurance does dad have? You said he's under 65 and that you don't think he has benefits through his current employer? If he's un- or under-insured, it would be easier for the discharge planner to skip this important step. 

To the above end, I would keep your mom out of the hospital to avoid her interfering as his next-of-kin because the social workers might use her want dementia to their own purposes. 

HB


M1
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 12:30 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 2498


Cats I absolutely agree with HB about not taking her to the hospital, for all kinds of reasons.  Covid risks, confusion, not understanding, all of the above.  You need to be the one taking charge of what happens next, even if you don't have POA/HCPOA, they need to look to you and not your mother as the one to make family decisions.

If he doesn't have medical insurance through his employer and does not have private insurance, the social workers know how to get him qualified for Medicaid--if his income allows-- and make it retroactive to cover the hospitalization.  Otherwise you all could be looking at some big bills--all the more reason to get that attorney appointment sooner rather than later.


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 12:40 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


The sister who is watching mom today decided to go and take mom to the hospital while dad's still in icu. ((Sigh)) I don't know what she's thinking. 
Mom's been deemed by a judge to be incompetent to consent, which is why we have to get a guardianship. Do we have to do any damage control when mom gets to his room? I'm currently at work still...

Victoria2020
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 1:30 PM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1298


For down the road --When it comes time to select the official guardian for your Mom, suggest you don't share equally with this sister  [ she's at 2 strikes- talking to employer & now ICU visit, right?) , have her be back up number 2 or 3. 

It will save time and heartache if you don't have to undo things she's done or work around her . Someone practical needs to be the final word.

If that is too much for you to take on with your job etc -- the attorney can recommend private guardians.  The worst would be to have the sister with the seemingly flawed judgement be the sole  in charge person, then you'd be powerless and frustrated.

 


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 4:44 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


I'm not sure. She's usually not like that so I guess she's warn out. All of us should get a strike though, when it comes to trying to contact dad's work. We eventually contacted the (presumably) right person, we just didn't know. There's a lot we don't know, sadly. Thank you so much for pointing it out kind but firmly.

I'm scared so I apologize if I ever seem like I'm lashing out. 

I'm not sure anyone would be comfortable with someone other than a family member being guardian for mom. I know it's not about us which is why I also feel that no one is correctly qualified for the task. My older sister was the best one, but she has two strikes against her now. So now what? We don't want to lose our mom but we don't want her to lack proper care.

My dad thought we could do it even though my younger sister and I said NO. Thankfully he seems to be recovering extremely well from the stroke but I'm not sure we can go on. I wanted to get POA for him but I can't take care of myself, how can I take care of someone older?

Maybe if I didn't have caregiving duties, I could do it, guardianship for mom and poa for dad, but that saps all my energy as I'm sure all of us here know very well. I do not think my dad is financially responsible enough. I may be but I don't know if I can do it.

I just don't know.

I've gotten in touch with a CELA and a second one contacted me earlier today that I haven't gotten back to yet. My intent is to find out how to get a POA for dad and see if they can do a guardianship for mom (first one said they don't do guardianship though so I might pass on them). I'm also looking into placement for mom for Memory Care and seeing if they'll take "roommates" and have dad retire there. He doesn't want to be without her but he can't take care of her alone. Not sure how the stroke will affect that.


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2022 4:51 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Would I be a good fit since I seem to be aware of my shortcomings? Is it okay to be the best you can but not the absolute best? How do I know if mom will get proper care if someone I don't know is overseeing her? What about my dad? Is he going to fight against it? Would we have to go to court? Where's the money going to come from to cover all this? Is this the beginning of the end of my family? What will my other sisters think about this?

Sorry, I think I'm spiraling. I'm going to call the hotline tonight after mom's taken care of and asleep.


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 8:09 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Updates:

 I've gotten contacted back by a second CELA. I'm working on getting consultations from both to see which best suits the needs of my family's circumstances.

I contacted the helpline and they weren't much help but that's probably on me not knowing how to express my needs. Will try again later for hopefully different results.

Dad's doing spectacularly well for stroke. Everyone who has seen him keep saying how impressed they are with his recovery.

Thank you so much everyone who has pointed out what needs to be done and offered their support and prayers. 


Victoria2020
Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:16 AM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1298


You are doing great CWHAT, one step at a time.

Sending you good thoughts, great news about your Father!


 


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2022 3:40 PM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Updates: dad's depressed and feeling nauseous and can't keep food down, which I find concerning, not sure about the nurses though. They gave him a cpap which is just more things we can't afford but he needs it.

I got in touch with the social worker and she's aware of the situation at home. She also mentioned a secondary insurance or that the hospital will work with us on a payment plan. (I'm skeptical about that one since they did NOT do that for me a few years ago but things could change.) She told me to contact the Area Agency on Aging or however it's said. 

Calling the Agency was a disaster. Not sure how/what to say to them and the person I was put in contact with wasn't there. So I left a message.

I tried getting in touch with the second CELA and that person was out today too. Left another message.

I've got a meeting tonight with the first CELA to go over POA and estate planning in general I think and then afterwards at a later date we will work on seeing how they can help.

I'm getting anxious again. Mom's been worried about dad too. My one sister keeps talking to her about him and telling her pretty much everything. Should I tell her to knock it off? Mom got up in the middle of the night this morning, crying and looking for him.


Victoria2020
Posted: Friday, June 24, 2022 5:07 AM
Joined: 9/21/2017
Posts: 1298


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble wrote:

I'm getting anxious again. Mom's been worried about dad too. My one sister keeps talking to her about him and telling her pretty much everything. Should I tell her to knock it off? Mom got up in the middle of the night this morning, crying and looking for him.


In a word ---YES--- your Mother, with PWD,  needs to be kept calm as processing the stressful details are hard for anyone about their spouse, let alone someone who has been declared incompetent.

Sister needs to look elsewhere for her support as Mom isn't the right person. Last thing you want is Mom upset about things she won't be asked to make decisions about and can't understand in a normal cause/effect and place in a proper time frame.

If your Mom brings up your Dad I'd leave it at "he's fine" and distract -- you don't know right now future living arrangements but having Mom calm is the constant long term goal regardless.

Don't sign any financial responsibility documents, discuss with the lawyer first -- you don't want to be on the hook for hospital bills -- and billing departments are experts at roping in family -- glad you're seeing someone soon. They will have options.

 


CatsWithHandsAreTrouble
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2022 9:52 AM
Joined: 5/11/2022
Posts: 72


Thank you Victoria, I'm very glad that you keep checking in and giving guidance. ((Hugs))

Some updates for others following: Dad's been released from the hospital and they say it's practically like he never had a stroke. He hobbles around a little which I'm not sure if that's from being bed-bound for practically a week or what. I'm watching him for any other differences.

I'm playing phone tag with the second CELA and the Area Agency on Aging. I might just go with the first CELA who contacted me. I've been looking into their office and they seem like a good fit. Tuesday I have a free meeting with them to discuss what's up and see if their service is what I need. Dad seems open to getting a POA but is unsure about the process.

I guess once I get in touch with the AAA, I'll see if they can help point me in the right direction for how to manage our situation with looming medical bills and making sure mom has the proper care she need.


May flowers
Posted: Saturday, June 25, 2022 11:48 AM
Joined: 4/9/2021
Posts: 513


Good to hear the update, cats. Is your mom doing better with him home now? Sounds like he is recovering well. My sister did that, everyone was amazed, you’d never know she had a stroke a few years ago, even though she couldn’t talk or move for a week.

I hope you get some good advice and direction from CELA and AAA. Keep us posted (((hugs)))


 
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