Has anyone had experience caring for a loved one at home who is paralyzed on one side and generally weak although mentally alert?
Two and half months after a paralyzing stroke, it's clear Mom isn't going to be able to get herself into and out of a wheelchair. Her independent personality (sounds like a cliche, but she really hates having people pay attention to her at all) does not fit with institutionalized LTC. She always said she had a good life and is ready for whatever, so I know she has no desire to live anything less than a life that included family and her beloved outdoors. It is tempting to let her pass silently but because she would be so missed, the family isn't ready to let her go. Problem is home care would involve the kind of lift that you need to put the patient on a sling to get in and out of the wheelchair, and this requires two persons. We live in a semi-remote area - a half hour from any small city where one normally can hire home care and they can ride busses to get here. The family consists of Mom and Dad in early 80s, 5 healthy kids, only two of which are able to spend any time at all at home, and one who lives at home but is partially disabled as well. Medicaid might cover home care during the day, but since two people are required to get Mom in and out of bed, is there any hope that this kind of home care is possible? I could move in myself, but it sounds like I couldn't do it by myself. I might need to work during the day if I lived there. Please share your experiences.
Hospice is a truly amazing and remarkable service. My husband was on hospice for about 5 weeks before he died. I endorse your observation that calling them in sooner is better than waiting until the last minute. You'll know that when Dad's time comes. Maybe through us others will be less hesitant to make that call early enough.
Pull ups (adult diapers) may help on the bathroom scene. And an experienced nurse would be able to train you in rolling your Mom to get her on a bedpan. If you don't have a hospital bed, get one (through medicare) and it will make your body mechanics easier. Bed goes up and down so you aren't bending over and the bed can be positioned for the comfort of your mom.
There is a you tube demo on the hoyer lift. And I just googled hospice for your town and came up with some names of who serves your area. Of course, that list may not be quite right with the distances involved but it is a starting place. Keep us posted.
The new definition of eligibility for hospice is 'failure to thrive'. The 6 month rule is not typically the deciding factor anymore. (at least for the hospices near me). People go on and off hospice now. If a hospice group feels the person has stabilized they may release them from hospice. In the future, if the patient needs it, they go back on. Ask a doctor to write a script for a hospice evaluation and let hospice tell you yes or no. If you have several providers of hospice services in your area, call each of them and ask what services they provide. Then ask the one with the best match of services offered to your needs to do the assessment.
If you can provide transportation and find a suitable caregiver, you might consider bringing someone out for a few days a week. For instance you could pick them on on Monday and bring them home on Wednesday. They would need a cot of bed but they might give you relief to take care of yourselves. Good luck.