Overwhelmed, Mom in rehabilitation center.

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My mom has multiple sclerosis and has just broken her hip about a week ago. She decided not to do surgery since she could not walk (she only stands to transfer herself) and the risk of dislocating in the future are very high for her. She is in a rehabilitation center right now and she miserable and in a lot of pain. I feel so overwhelmed by wanted to help her but I have a family of my own to take care of. Four and two year olds with one on the way and a husband who is a drill sgt in the army who has very long hours. I feel so overwhelmed and worried what the future will bring. She is unable to move in with us. We live in two story military housing. her home is five minutes away from our house so it has worked in the past, but she will probably need help full time and I know I can't do it. Next step might be looking at assisted living home. All she has is Medicaid and Medicare. I am not even sure what exactly I am asking but I could use some advice on what to do. And I needed to vent to someone who understands, sounds like most people here will. I am trying not to feel guilty about this all because i can't change anything, but i still do.

14 Comments

I'm sorry that no one including myself has responded to your question any sooner than 7 hours.

True, there is nothing for you to feel guilty for. Your hands are extremely full with emotions probably all over the place with a child on the way! Are you having to deal with this as an only child or do you have any siblings?

Since she can't walk, assisted living is out of the question. How long is rehab going to keep her? I don't think she will be doing any PT since she can't walk and did not have surgery. Have you talked with her doctor about what needs to be done for her next? Like my mother who became fully ambulatory after falling and breaking her hip, most likely your mother needs to go to a nursing home.

Since she already has medicaid, I think you need to start with calling nursing homes in the morning to find out who takes medicaid.

I sure hope that you already have durable and medical POA for your mother?

Call who need to call in the morning and get the ball rolling. Take care of yourself. Keep coming back to vent, to ask more questions and to let us know how you are doing.

Prayers, hugs and love!
Ebeach, with Mom in rehab talk to the social worker there that should have extensive knowledge of what is available in nursing homes. Also, ask her doctor. A friend of mine was given the name of a Medicaid home that had vacancy by the doc. I do not like to say this but a nursing home may be the only option if Mom won't have the surgery, but if she does a nursing home may be the only option as well. The rehab social worker can help you navigate this.

And like Magnum said, get the Powers of Attorney in place now.
My mom is 83 with multiple health issues. She suffered horrible pain for years from a bad hip. She had hip replacement surgery about 3 months ago and is now pain free. (At least in her hip). Given your mothers ms this may not be an option but I was quite surprised how this improved my moms quality of life.
Thank you for the responses. I have siblings but they are on the west coast and we are on the east. I am meeting with her physical therapist and social worker tomorrow so we can see what the next steps are. I'm hoping assisted living where she can use her scooter, but I am not even sure if they are allowed. I do not have the power of attornies, I will discuss that with the social worker also. The hip replacement is a bad idea with her health with how advanced her MS is, unfortunately. I am trying not to worry about this tonight and see what the social worked says.
Ebeach, rely on the social worker, they know the system and know what would be in your Mom's best interest. One suggestion, sometimes when the system is overwhelmed staff at the facility may try to guilt you into figuring something out for her. THAT IS THEIR JOB! And make sure you tell them you are not able to care for her or provide the expertise that they have. Do not let them guilt you into trying to figure this out for yourself. Often that leads to YOU becoming the caregiver.
EBeach, usually there are notaries who will come to you, for a fee, to notarized documents like POAs. Theoretically, if your mother understands what she's doing and wants to, a Durable and Medical POA could be written up for her, she read over to see if she agrees with it and then have a notary present for the her signing it. Then, in many places, it is suggested or even required for the durable POA to be registered with the county register of deeds.

One more question because this is definitely the time to ask this kind of thing. Does she have a regular will and a living will or a DNR?

I hope your meeting with the social worker goes well tomorrow. Keep us posted.
God bless you Ebeach! Rehab is the best place for her. And look around at some assisted living places. Mom loves hers, she actually reconnected with high school friends. ALF is better than living with relatives, she'll be with friends.
Mom broke her hip at 89. She is an anti surgery person too. But the Dr. told her that seniors that don't have the surgery tend to not live very long. First surgery had problems and she ended up having 2 more. Her mobility is more limited but she is still kicking and the pain of her hip (after first surgery before we discovered that her hip had re-broken) was terrible. Can they pin the hip or similar to keep it from shifting every time she does? How about a nerve block to reduce the pain? What suggestions does dr. have? Perhaps try a new dr. Your mom must want to be around and as mobile as possible when being a grandma again...what does she think her options are? What is her plan?

Stay strong.
In spite of how overwhelmed and worried you feel, EBeach, it sounds like you have your head on straight and will be able to cope just fine.

1) You understand your priority is to not neglect your children and husband. Yes, Mother's needs must be considered, too, but you aren't losing sight of your other roles.
2) You know that none of your mother's problems are under your control. Sure, you feel guilty -- that is part of the package. Or maybe what we interpret as guilt feelings is just the frustration of our helplessness. In any case, don't let these feelings interfere with making good sound decisions.
3) You are realistic about what your mother needs and what you can provide. You are not determined to bring Mom into your home at all costs, even though it isn't a good fit.
4) You are looking ahead to getting her into a good setting. That is positive.

In short, I'm have more confidence in you than you might right now. You really have your head on straight, and you'll be able to give your mother much encouragement and support.

Once she is a rehab setting, talk to the social worker there regarding the search for an appropriate placement.

An elderly friend with MS did well in an assisted living facility for a while, but after she broke her hip she needed the higher level of care of a nursing home. My mother (94) broke her hip last year and also was not a good candidate for surgery. She can no longer walk and she is a two-person transfer, with a lift machine. She is quite content in a nursing home.

I know this is overwhelming right now. You CAN do it!

ebeach - ((((((hugs))))) How are things going? Wondering how your meetings went. You got good advice from everyone. I hope some of your fears have been eased. I think you are doing all you can. Please let the guilt go. We can help but we cannot prevent disease nor stop the effects of time and the aging process. ((((((((hugs)))))))))).

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