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So, mom's operation got postponed and is now very close to a vacation my hubby and mom and I were supposed to go on (which is already a postponed vacation). My husband and I still want to go. Feels selfish but OTOH I feel like we should be able to take a darn vacation!


Since the surgery is 2 weeks before the vacation, I don't see any way that she will be able to go after a total knee replacement. We drive and it's a long drive, at least 1 night in a hotel and 2 long days in the car.


She does not like to stay alone and has not for like 10 years so this is certainly not the time to start that.


She usually goes to my siblings house when hubby and I do a get away but sibling is having a hard time with the visits but says she'll tough it out. I know she suffers though. Cries every day and is upset and counting down the minutes until she has her small house back.


I can't decide what to do!!


Go on vacation or postpone again?


Send mom to sister's even though it will be hard on sister?


Set up respite care near our home? But she thinks she can go to my sister's so how could I tell her, no, you can't go there and are going to a nursing home instead? That will not go over well. She is still competent - not 100% but definitely with it enough to be fully aware of what's going on, etc.

againx: I did see your update that you had to cancel your vacation. I am sorry. Prayers sent.
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Jasmina Oct 26, 2020
Where is the update? I never see updates on here. Thank you.
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It seems that your mother should be in a rehab facility after a knee surgery. She would be in a safe place, getting good care and rehab, and you could call every night from your vacation. Also, let the social worker find a place, this is what they are good at. Don't let them put the onus on you to provide rehab.
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againx100 Oct 26, 2020
I agree that rehab is for the best. Last time, the hospital took care of finding her a place and I took what was available. I'm not sure what the scoop on that will be given these covid times we are in. Depending on how surgery goes and how quickly she is recovering, etc. I will draw the same line I did after the last operation - need to be able to get into the house independently (3 steps) and get to and from the bathroom on her own as well. I already take care of cooking, etc but these basic ambulatory benchmarks need to be met.

Keep your fingers crossed for a good result!
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Do not postpone a vacation! You need downtime too!!!! Send mom to sister's but get her in home help, so she is not over burdened. That way she gets breaks too.
Do not ruin your vacation bc mom wants you to come home. She might try that. Cant cope. She will be fine. Dont ruin your vacation. It is not being selfish, it is recharging. You need alone time too.
why cant sibling cope? Mom cant cope? Good grief. Yes they can. I wouldnt cave into that. No its your turn. I wouldnt go home if they call with an emergency, bc there might be one just so you come home. Time for someone else to step up. Your unavailable. Good luck.
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againx100 Oct 26, 2020
Thanks for your response. I did have to postpone our vacation due to covid and hubby having to quarantine for 2 weeks if we went. Not worth it. But darn!!!

My sibling is great, but almost 2 weeks in a small house with one bathroom is just toooo much to be dealt with. She likes/needs to be alone a lot and I can respect that. She never wanted to take mom in and thinks I am crazy for having done so. She might be right!! While I wish she would be able to do more, I have to respect her limitations.

I will find a way to get a vacay for me and hubby and recharge our batteries. It's necessary and so enjoyable!
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Many people go to rehab after a knee replacement to get care and physical therapy. Seems like a perfect solution for your mom... and you still get that vacation too.
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I see your update that the vacation needed to be scrubbed anyway but vacation or not I encourage you to consider letting Mom go to rehab anyway. Recovering from knee replacement is no picnic and everyone is different. My dad at 80 recovered beautifully but he also did all the PT prep, exercises each day before hand and had both his wife and I helping. His wife on the other hand Had hers replaced in her late 60’s maybe she was early 70’s and had a horrible recovery, still walks with a limp from constant pain, she should have gone to rehab before heading home. Rehab for most patient's, particularly elderly offers the best environment for rapid recovery. It doesn’t mean there won’t still be recovery time at home but the daily specific rehab and care makes it possible for the patient to go home mobile and able to do the things for themselves, for the most part, that they were able to do going into surgery. You know she will have every chance for a solid foundation on her recovery and the experts are rite there to minimize her pain. I won’t even get into the load it will lighten for you. Make it a given that going to rehab is the best thing for her recovery, an extension of the surgery (acute rehab is probably best if she qualifies) and visit her there rather than take on the responsibility of those first couple of weeks at home. I have no idea what kind of patient your mom is or the work she is willing to put in for her recovery but often a stranger and professional will get far more out of a patient than their loving caretaker, even health care professionals can have a harder time with their family member than they do with their non related patient's.
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againx100 Oct 26, 2020
Thanks for you advice. I totally agree and hope that rehab is in her post-op future. I KNOW that the exercises will not be done at home on her own. I tried to help her last time and she just gave me a bunch of complaining, etc. so I'm NOT going there again. She would do it for the "real" therapists, but for me: I'm too tired. It hurts, etc. So frustrating. Anyhow, I will be pushing for rehab and hoping it will work out.
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I would opt for rehab in a facility if the doctor would agree to that. (I discussed this with my doctor and he does not like rehab facilities for a variety of reasons)
If there is no rehab that she could go to then I would opt for a caregiver to come in.
A rehab facility is not a "nursing home" even though some rehab facilities have wings in the same building and many of the residents of the Skilled Nursing Facility do have rehab..
(a rehab facility just opened up near me it is a "resort spa" rehab looks amazing and sounds like it has high end luxury hotel type amenities. I would love to spend a week or two there!)
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againx100 Oct 26, 2020
I know her doc is NOT in favor of rehab but that's easy for him to say. Not going has advantages as far as risk of infection, but so many other reasons point to YES to rehab. For a younger, healthier person that can and will do the hard work necessary, they should definitely go home and do it from there. But older people that are in poor physical shape? They really need rehab!

I'd like to check into that resort spa too!!
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When people who have knee and hip replacements can’t care for themselves at home, they will need to go to a rehab facility to get care and PT. That is what you should do. Put the notion out of your head she will suffer. She is an adult and will do fine. On the other hand I do think your sister could buck up and at least go visit her in that facility. I just had a hip replaced 2 weeks ago, my second, and they are easier to rehab than a knee. But the caregiver has a lot of responsibility and duties. So if mom balks, tell her this is what the doctor recommends. And don’t get into a lengthy discussion or let her manipulate the outcome. Go on that vacation and enjoy it knowing she is looked after.
call the place she is having the surgery and find out how they handle sending a patient to rehab after discharge. They do this all the time.
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When people who have knee and hip replacements can’t care for themselves at home, they will need to go to a rehab facility to get care and PT. That is what you should do. Put the notion out of your head she will suffer. She is an adult and will do fine. On the other hand I do think your sister could buck up and at least go visit her in that facility. I just had a hip replaced 2 weeks ago, my second, and they are easier to rehab than a knee. But the caregiver has a lot of responsibility and duties. So if mom balks, tell her this is what the doctor recommends. And don’t get into a lengthy discussion or let her manipulate the outcome. Go on that vacation and enjoy it knowing she is looked after
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My answer you may not like. But, here is what I did. I hadn't seen my family in many years due to my husband's military career and settling across the US thousands of miles away. I arranged my husband to spend 22 days in respite care assisted living, where he was monitored every day with reminders to eat, they escorted him to dining rooms, checked he took his meds and showered, and many other chores. He would tell me by phone he missed me, but I didn't give him any time to complain, and I didn't give him any possibility of crying or moaning he didn't want me to go. It was my decision. It wasn't that expensive for the time he spent there, and, I was able to count days as "elimination period" off his long term insurance policy. For that time away, I didn't want a caregiver to come into the house and spend 24 hours there every day, and have access to documents that were private and not able to be put in safe. You have to take charge and "do it" and let Mom cry, beg, stomp her feet. It passes. Was I cruel? No, I was entitled to this vacation with my family I hadn't spent time with in over 55 years. You are entitled to this vacation, esp. if it is already paid for and no refund. The money you already spent on her travel can go towards her stay in a facility. Have fun.
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So many caring, well thought out, helpful responses. Thank you! You are amazing.

Found out bad news today - IF hubby goes to FL, he will have to quarantine for TWO WEEKS prior to returning to work and he can not work from home so.....Had to cancel the vacation today!!!!

Hubby and I will do a combo of staycation and vacation in state so that he will not have to quarantine.

But the advice has been great and I will definitely use it in the future!
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ArtistDaughter Oct 22, 2020
I was just going to write that if mom lives in your home, you might enjoy staying home while she is gone in rehab. I love when my house is empty of everyone but my cat and me. I'm seriously introverted. I see you've come up with a plan to stay in-state for vacation, since your husband does not want to quarantine. Have a restful time while you can!
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I see from your profile that your mother lives in your home. You need a break.

Take your vacation with your husband. Reschedule the surgery. Send your mother to her sister's house. Enjoy your vacation. There are too many unknowns - will she need inpatient rehab or not...will the surgery have complications or not - that your vacation will be ruined if everything with her surgery does not go according to plan. Come back from vacation refreshed and ready to deal with the surgery and its aftermath whatever that may be.
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This was my experience. Mom fell due to Parkinson’s disease. Even without Parkinson’s disease though if a person doesn’t use muscles they become weak. Use it or lose it!

So, her doctor prescribed home health for her. It works! Even in older people like my mom (90’s), it’s helpful.

The exercises must be continuously done. My mom worked extremely hard when the therapist were around, then she would slack up afterwards. So, she would fall again.

The exercises also help with balance. The therapists are wonderful in targeting all areas.

Mom had to go to the emergency room at times. I spoke to the doctor and nurses in the hospital and asked about the benefits of doing rehab because I felt that she needed the intensity of workouts in a gym setting.

The hospital ordered it. I selected the facility and off she went to rehab. It does help. They push but never more than the residents can handle.

Please ask about home health as well. Mom did a follow up in home health after rehab.

Strengthening the core muscles is so beneficial. They will do physical and occupational therapy in home health.

I hope your mom will succeed with her rehab program. Best wishes to you and your mom.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Usually the hospital sets up rehab, in my area. Definitely look at some places to find ones that are acceptable, but it usually comes down to who has an open bed.
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A friend of mine recently had a knee replacement and because she lived alone, was sent to a rehab facility for several weeks, before she returned to her home, so just let her Dr. know ahead of time that she will need to go to a rehab facility after her surgery since there will be no one to care for her at home. She'll be fine there, and get all the PT she needs, so go on your much needed vacation, and have peace that mom is being well taken care of. Have fun!!!
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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My Mum had a knee replacement at the beginning of September. I was very clear that I was not going to stay with her. She, not me, made arrangements for the first two weeks to have first her sister and second her step daughter stay with her.

Would it be easier for your sister, if she went to Mum's instead of Mum going to her place?

Can you talk to the surgeon about whether or not she could be placed in rehab for the first few weeks? I know my Mum came home on day 2 and has had out patient PT and does her exercises at home.

And yes, go on your much needed vacation.
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Reply to Tothill
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Perhaps your sister could have an imaginary illness (infectious?) that means your mother can’t stay with her. Then respite care is explainable. And anyway, you and DH and your sister suffering are EACH just as important as respite care not going down well with mother.
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Your Mom will almost certainly go to rehab, perhaps for as long as a month. You should discuss all of this with MD. Anything, of course, can happen with a major surgery, esp on a lower limb, and there could be blood clots, any kind of emergent situation. You will have to consider how comfortable you are with leaving, who will be STAYING, and how quickly you could come home in emergent situation.
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Take your vacation. 100%. Do it. It would be selfish NOT to do it. It’s OK to put yourselves first.

As far as your mom, Medicare will pay for 21 days rehab at 100%. I would try to get her sent to rehab while you are gone. Just tell her the dr required it/prescribed it.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Arrange for her to do rehab in a facility. Is that a possibility?

Best wishes to you and your family.
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againx100 Oct 19, 2020
I think so. I will start calling around tomorrow. I don't know if you can "book" rehab in advance cuz you never know what's going to happen with surgery. Could get rescheduled again or she could stay in the hospital longer than the one day they say is normal for the majority of people.

Thanks.
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