My mom had open heart surgery on May 18, 2009. She continues to experience breathing difficulties and is on a ventilator. She has a feeding tube and her stomach is terribly distended. On Monday she will get a GJ feeding tube to hopefully assist with removing the air from her abdomen. She is housed at a rehabilitation facility and I would like to someday get her to her home with inhome care. Does anyone know of success stories where elderly folks have come home needing full time ventilator assist?

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I know that this is an older post but perhaps an answer will help others. I used to work for a home health agency as respiratory therapist and I visited several patient's who were on mechanical ventilation full time in the home. It can be do-able but the caregiver must be well trained on the different alarms, emergencies, and procedures to help the person on the ventilator. Loved ones at home on mechanical ventilation can be more prone to infection like pneumonia, and dangerous situations like mucous plugging that can obstruct their airway.

I have also worked directly with a patient in the home on mechanical ventilation and he was able to work and the family was very successful. The family was well aware of all procedures and had obviously done their homework. Ultimately I have known several families with a loved one on mechanical ventilation and they have done very well.

Nicole Bernd

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