Firstly, my daughter is posting and holding this account on my behalf (I’m not the most tech-savvy). The title truly says it all, but I’ll try to elaborate:
- My mom passed away June of 2019 after a long hospital stay due to stroke. She was 92. My dad is now 92, and his greatest wish is to stay in his home.
- Up until a few months ago, he could drive, do stairs, and manage living independently. He was at a fall risk, so we set him up with Life Alert. However, 2 falls in August 2020 severely impaired his mobility to the point where walking is almost impossible for him now.
- He stayed in hospital for about a week after these falls, and I managed to get him into respite care very close to home. However, he was absolutely miserable there and became very depressed. All he wanted was to go home. So, honouring his wish, I brought him home.
- In this time, he was catheterized again due to lack of mobility. While he still had decent enough control of his bladder, he felt as though he never completely emptied. This made him get up multiple times during the night. To help his sleep and reduce fall risk, he remains catheterized. However, it constantly leaks.
- He lives in a side split/split level home. We have him on the main level of his home in the den/tv room. He sleeps in one of those lounge chairs that has a mechanism that will lift him up into a standing position. He can’t get into bed anymore. He can barely make it to the kitchen one level up.
- He is totally mentally and cognitively sharp. He knows everything that’s going on. But I know he’s in denial about how far gone his condition is, as he refuses to take the insurance off his car or sell it.
I have fought tooth and nail with LHIN (for Americans, it means Local Health Integrated Network) to try to get my dad the in-home support that he needs. Despite everything I said above, they still deem him “too good” for a nursing home. Frankly, because of COVID, I don’t particularly want him there anyway. He gets 1-1.5 hours a day in the evening...sometimes no one is even scheduled and I have to call to make sure someone does. They will bathe him, get him into his pyjamas, and help to do basic care. I bring his lunch and dinner every day, but he hasn’t gotten himself breakfast the last few days because he can’t get to the kitchen.
I have tried and tried to get in-home nursing care, but they only do 3 hour blocks of time, and he only needs 1 in the morning and 1 at night. He has good coverage ($50,000 a year through pension), but I can’t find anyone who will do anything hourly.
I am scared for what is coming down the road. I know he will become incontinent, and I just can’t bring myself to his diapers (nor would he want me to). He hated respite care in a retirement home, and everyone says that I’m doing the right thing and can’t put him in a nursing home....but are they going to take care of him? No. I am.
He can afford home care, but longevity runs in his genes (almost all his siblings lived past their 90s and his sister lived to almost 102) and he could be like this for years. We are good financially, but we are certainly not wealthy and this would eat up money fast.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make his living situation better? Does anyone have any suggestions of things that I could do to help him? I am an only child, and I am so burnt out carrying 99% of this burden by myself, and I just don’t know what to do. My parents and I were so lucky health-wise for so long, and now this has completely rocked my world. Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you so much in advance!