Don’t Let Pressure Inhibit Solutions
Well… talk about timing. The same day my post about taking responsibility for your parents came out, my mother fell in her house. She fell around 3AM, and the post went out at 9:30; that’s the thing about writing things ahead of time because there’s no way I’d have even had a post had I waited.
Without going into too many details, let me just say that her falling has escalated my having to find a place for her to live. The hospital wasn’t going to release her until I’d found that solution, although, since I’m in health care and know the rules, I could have usurped their position if I’d felt so inclined.
However, this was a better thing to happen… especially since she only suffered a bit of scarring and bruising from her fall. She was also lucky that one of her friends was with her and that her friend was a retired nurse. Still, she had to be taken to the hospital and examined, and the end result of her “incarceration” is that it prompted me into action. Also, I see how she’s interacting with all the people in the hospital, and it’s helping to give me a better feeling in trying to place her.
Monday was the day that tested my resolve and put a lot of pressure on me. Over the weekend I had marked down 5 places to check out. Just before I left to check out the first place I talked to a representative from the hospital who told me that their physical therapy people had recommended that she be moved to a skilled nursing facility for physical therapy and that she’d be there about 20 days. She also said that Medicare would cover it. This was fairly good news because it not only would buy me time but it would help me with how I would communicate to her why she was moving into assisted living if I needed to.
Let me say that I was wondering what reasoning they were going to give to go to the nursing facility. Needing rehab is one thing but since she’d gone to the hospital for something else that wasn’t related to her leg issues I couldn’t believe I could be so lucky.
The first assisted living facility I went to was wonderful… and close to home. I was there 2 hours and got to tour the facility. They had a working relationship with the nursing facility she was going to be transferred to, they had the beds to take her, and they had a special offer that would save her initial money and earn her extra money on the back end because she was the wife of a veteran.
At this point I thought I’d handled everything like a professional… which is what I’d set out to do. All the pressure was off… that is until I heard that a winter storm was coming. Suddenly I had to change my plans again and go to Rochester in a few hours instead of the next morning as we’d planned.
Still, that was a minor blip on the radar, and it wouldn’t be a big deal. After eating something we started packing some clothes and other things we’d need for an overnight stay at Mom’s house. All was comfortable… until I stopped to put gas in the car and got a phone call.
It was from the social worker I’d talked to earlier in the day. She said she’d just been informed that my mother didn’t qualify for skilled nursing because she was too healthy for it (which I knew), and that if I still wanted her to go it was going to cost $350 a day; ain’t no way! I asked how much it would cost to keep her in the hospital for a couple more days and she said she wasn’t sure, but at least a thousand a day; ouch! Suddenly it was time for pressure to come up again.
I decided to see if I could come up with a more immediate solution. My wife and I went back to the assisted living center and luckily the executive director was still there. I asked her how fast we could move Mom there and what we’d need (I’m not worried about the money) to get things going. She said it would take 3 days and we could move her in on Friday if we had everything we needed (which includes whatever furniture is needed, since they don’t supply any of that, including a bed or TV). They also needed something specific from the hospital and some paperwork filled out by them.
With the pressure easing, I called the hospital back… only to find that the social worker I’d been talking to had pretty much left after dropping the bad news on me (it was only 10 minutes). I passed on what I needed to someone at the nurses station and mentioned that I was on my way up there… it didn’t make sense to go to Rochester and not stop in to see Mom.
However, we now had a quandary. Where was I going to have Mom stay for basically 3 days? I couldn’t bring her to her house because I needed to avoid dealing with that, and if I brought her to my house my wife and I couldn’t leave the house to buy the stuff needed for her room at the assisted living facility. I quickly came up with the idea; maybe she could stay with the friend she stayed with in December, who I’d taken up to Rochester with me to see Mom on Sunday. I called her and she agreed to have Mom with her until Friday; once again I was winning!
Until… just before I reached the exit that would take me to the hospital from the Thruway I got a call from her daughter and niece. In a roundabout way they wanted to tell me that Mom’s friend wasn’t really capable of watching Mom for those few days. They came up with a potential solution I knew was unworkable, but I also had to get them off the phone so I could boot up the GPS because I couldn’t find the hospital in the dark without it.
Pressure again; what the hey?!?!?
I was feeling put upon and pretty unlucky. How had every plan I’d set up come crashing down like that? My wife then said that we’d figure something out, that I should relax and concentrate on getting to the hospital. This I did… then came up with a plausible solution where things would be more under my control.
The solution? By the time most people read this (if anyone’s reading), Mom will be at my house. Wednesday one of my wife’s friends will come and stay with Mom for a few hours while we head out to buy all the things she needs for her room, and we’ll set up how we’re going to get those things to the facility. After that, either my wife or I will be in the house with Mom, and we’ll take her to her new room on Friday. Also, because we’d already started Visiting Nurses services for physical and occupational therapy before she fell, she’ll still get those same services at the new place, and it’ll be covered by Medicare for upwards of a month… by which time we’re hoping she’s acclimated herself to her new situation and won’t clamor to get back to her house anymore… which unfortunately she’ll probably never see again.
That part brings a different type of pressure… the pressure of guilt. Yet it has nothing to do with trying to come up with solutions because everything I’ve done and its culmination will be the solution; whew!
Talk about a weekend of pressure! I could have succumbed at any moment, given in and crawled into bed. Instead, I was proactive, came up with positive solutions every step of the way, and overcame each challenge that came with some pretty quick thinking. Of course, something else could still go wrong… but I know I can deal with it and figure out the next step.
Not only that, but I’ve shown you, on day 24 of my blog a day project, that sometimes writing a personal blog post might be just the thing to do. Thanks for reading…