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Bad news :( ...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just got a call from my brother ... my mom (87) has apparently had a small stroke and has been admitted to the hospital where he is. We had just moved her to a nice assissted living facility about 2-3 months ago, but she's not going to be able to stay there now. I'm going to call her in a bit, Ron (my brother, the oldest) says she's complaining she can't see. She's going to have to go to a nursing home, and brother is looking into homes and prices out his way, and my sister will be looking into them in Chattanooga although I understand it might be easier if she stays in the same state??? I'm supposed to look into some around here (Birmingham, AL). All I know is that they're supposed to be very expensive. I'm just supposed to get the bottom line. But Medicaid is supposed to take care of some/all of it??? I'm clueless about this. She actually gets around extremely well considering her age, or at least did. I don't know how this is going to affect her :-(.

post #2 of 23
I am so sorry...I wish your mom a smooth and complete recovery.
post #3 of 23
Such an awful lot to go though. I'm sorry that you are facing this. I hope you are able to find a living solution for her that works out best for her. Hoping that she recovers quickly from this set back.
post #4 of 23
I'm so sorry to hear that. I'll say a prayer for you all during this stressful time.
post #5 of 23
I am so sorry Cindy. I will be praying for your Mother & all who love her.
post #6 of 23
I´m so sorry to heard that Cindy... My thoughts with you and my prayers for your mom too...
post #7 of 23
I'm glad I read your post. It happens to be in my field of work. The hospital should help your mother/family find an appropriate/suitable nursing home. I believe all States have an Area Agency on Aging in each county (at least they do in Pennsylvania). I would contact them if you have questions that the social worker at the hospital cannot answer.
post #8 of 23
My grandmother was in a nursing home but I don't know anything about how it was paid for or anything. Good luck
post #9 of 23
Originally Posted by captiva
Such an awful lot to go though. I'm sorry that you are facing this. I hope you are able to find a living solution for her that works out best for her. Hoping that she recovers quickly from this set back.
My sentiments, exactly. We went through this three years ago with my Dad -- different health issues, but same bottom line. We had a month of hell waiting for a placement to become available, but when it did, it was the best thing that had happened to him in a very long time. I will pray that you are similarly fortunate in the outcome, but that it happens more quickly for you. Meanwhile, don't forget to take care of you -- too easy to let that slip when you are focused on the urgent needs of someone you care about.
post #10 of 23
I am sorry to hear about your mother. *HUGS* for you and your family.
post #11 of 23
Oh, I am so sorry for you and your Mom. I hope she recovers fully!
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much everyone for your kind thoughts and words . I wasn't able to get hold of my mum last night (I use a calling card for long-distance and it cuts you off after 6 rings) but my sister was able to and she seems to think my brother may be jumping the gun on this. I don't really "know" my brother, he's 18 years older than me and had pretty much left home by the time I came along. Plus his wife who's an RN is in Romania right now (mission-due back Tuesday) so he's handling this by himself. I asked him if he needed us to come out, but he didn't seem to think so (he's retired.) Sister says that Mum sounds about the same as she has been to her (her short term memory's been shot for quite some time) and that she's not so sure that she'd need to go in a home yet. I guess we're in a bit of a wait and see mode for a bit, see what the docs say sort of thing.

Thanks again! Y'all are the best !

post #13 of 23
Keeping everything crossed that it all works out.
post #14 of 23
thinking of you at this time
post #15 of 23
Cindy, I don't have any advice to offer, but I do have prayers and good vibes coming you and your mom's way. I hope she is able to get good help recovering from her stroke and that your family is able to situate her in a good environment soon .
post #16 of 23
That's awful beb - my grandmother has had several strokes (she is now 82) and she also got around quite a lot. At one point she was walking about 5-7 miles a day, just because she could, really. It does take a lot of time, because recovery is slow and sometimes incomplete, but you will hopefully find that she does gradually improve Any movement or speech that has been hindered by the stroke can improve. It did in my granny. She had a major stroke followed immediately by a heart-attack some years ago, and has had four minor strokes since then. She's had some trouble with her speech and movement - but those have slowly gotten better. She was very frustrated and angry a lot of the time because she knew perfectly well what she was trying to do or to say, and somehow it just didn't come out or happen the way she wanted it to. But it seems to be about making new neurological pathways and as you get older, that takes longer for the body to do. Granny complained for a long time about not being able to swallow and having a lump in her throat that she coudln't shift - it turned out that her last stroke has left one side of her throat paralysed. I've never heard about her complaining about her sight though- and this woman isn't happy unless she is complaining about something - so I'm sorry, I don't have anything to offer on that count

I don't know anything about medicaid, being from the UK - is that something like the National Health Service where you get treatment for free? Or is it more where the state pays in part for private treatment?

All I can do is offer my best wishes and I sincerely hope that your mum makes a good recovery
post #17 of 23
Rose, please encourage your brother to talk to the doctors about what your mother's prospects really are before he jumps the gun. If this just happened there is probably no way yet to know what the outcome will really be. With therapy, it is possible that what can look like a hopeless case can be largely overcome. Neither my father nor my husband had initial blindness that I recall, so I don't know if that is something that can change from the initial stages or not. Perhaps someone else here has experience with that.

My father had his first stroke at age 69. He had to comletely re-learn to walk again, and he lost most of the ability to use one arm. He lived across the country from me and I went back to see him within days. From his condition then when I left about a week after his stroke, I never dreamed he'd be able to live alone again, but after therapy he did. Not only live alone, but continue to farm and continue to drive the car and the tractor, essentially with full use of only one arm, just partial use of the other. Of course, in a city they would never let one drive like that, but he lived on that farm alone in a very rural community for another four years before another stroke took his life. But much was dependent upon his attitude. He was determined he wanted to go back to his farm, so he put every effort into recovering as much as possible. And he was adamant that he'd rather risk his life with another stroke living alone than be stuck in a nursing home.

My husband also had a major stroke, his at age 79. Again, one would have been far off base if one judged what his final capabilities would be by what he was able to do after just a few days in the hospital. Because he was determined to recover as much as possible, he was admitted to a better therapy program and he did make good progress, learning to walk again and recovering full use of his arm and some of his cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, those cognitive abilities which he did not recover were severe enough that he still needed 24 hour supervision. But he had me, so he was able to live at home for his last four years.

The type of therapy your mother receives and how much she may be able to recover may well depend upon her attitude, even at her advanced age. If she has taken a "woe is me, it is hopeless" attitude, she will regain far less than if she has taken the approach "by golly, I'm going to get out of this place and get back to living" attitude.

My thought and prayers are with you and your family as you face the decisions ahead.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hmmmm . I just spoke to Mum in the hospital, and honestly, I can't tell any difference ? I wonder if she actually had a stroke, or something else? Perhaps a drug reaction or some such?

Hmmm, depending on how well she's getting around, she may only need short term stay type stuff and perhaps not that. Won't hurt to look into it of course.

Twofatcats, that's very inspiring. My dad had a major stroke at around 72 which left him without speech and the use of his right arm and only partial use of his right leg. He never put any effort into therapy and never regained any language or use of his arm. He only lived two more years.

Mum's a tough old bird. Her usual comeback (today included ) when I ask how she is: "Well, I'm still living!"

And again, thank you all for the kind thoughts and prayers.

post #19 of 23
I hope that your mothers illness isn't as bad that originally thought and that any recovery goes smoothly. My parents are both hale and hearty at ages 75 and 76 but I know its tough if any illness developes.
post #20 of 23
Originally Posted by RoseHawke
Twofatcats, that's very inspiring. My dad had a major stroke at around 72 which left him without speech and the use of his right arm and only partial use of his right leg. He never put any effort into therapy and never regained any language or use of his arm. He only lived two more years.
Yes, my dad had lost his speech, too. I'd forgotten that. And through therapy he recovered that completely, or at least so it seemed to an outsider. And realize that this was at least 20 years ago in a small, rural hospital and rehab center. I'm sure they've learned a few more things about therapy since, and the larger centers often have access to better care.

As we think about people like your dad who put little effort into recovery, we have to remember that it is possible that the area of the brain that stored their previous "get up and go" attitude may have been destroyed by the stroke. With a lot of skills, if the part of the brain that stored that skill is destroyed, one can re-train another part of the brain to handle the job if they still have the desire to do that. But IMHO if their initiative has been destroyed, it may be more difficult to get another part of the brain to do that. (Note: I have no medical training, but this just seems reasonable to me.) I guess we all need to make our initiative a big enough part of our lives that it gets stored in more than one place, so if our time comes to face these difficulties, we'll have some initiative left!

Of course, I recognize that some strokes are so big that recovery of these skills is not possible.
post #21 of 23

Thinking of you all a this time. Take care
post #22 of 23
Definitely sending good vibes your way. My fahter had a stroke 5 years ago, so I understand the uncertainty that surrounds it.
post #23 of 23
My father had a massive stroke that even the doctors thought would kill him. After 6 months in the hospital, he managed to return home. With the help of rehab, he learned how to talk again, and although he was paralyzed on his right side, he learned to walk short distances using a brace and cane. He lasted another 6 years. It's probably way too early to predict what you mother's condition will be in a few weeks or months. I'm sending her best wishes for a speedy recovery!
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