Sunday, June 13, 2021

Prepping for Dad's Return

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
It's been almost 1.5 months since dad went into the hospital and then to a rehab facility, and now the rehab place is making noises about sending him home this week. 

This is clearly not what we wanted, but the Veteran's Administration is taking its sweet time in processing the paperwork. As I understand they have 30 days to review it, and from context it seems like that needs to be interpreted as "If they can't find a reason to reject it within a month then it will be approved" rather than "It will take 30 days or less to approve it", and they seem intent upon running out the clock instead of processing it in a timely manner. Once that's done, dad gets put on a waiting list and even though he's 100% disabled he still has to wait his turn behind all the other 100% disabled people ahead of him. 

So now we're making the house as safe as we can for an 85 year old man with balance problems and falling issues. We've cleared out most of the junk from his room, because that was a tripping hazard and was one of the reasons he didn't keep a walker by his bed. Now he has no such excuse. 

Although, to be honest, I don't think it will make a difference. Dad is a non-compliant patient when it comes to things like physical therapy, so even though he's stronger now because of physical and occupational therapy from the rehab home I fully expect he'll stop doing his exercises within weeks of coming home. From there it's only a matter of when he falls, not if, and who knows what kind of damage he'll do to himself when that happens. I'm about 90% sure that the recent decline in his mental state is due to him hitting his head in multiple falls. 

Other than that, I have no idea what any of us can do. For reasons that make no sense to me given that Florida is a popular state for retirement, our interior doors aren't made to accommodate wheelchairs. As in, "a person in a wheelchair literally cannot pass through the doorway" incompatible. I have no idea what mom and I are going to do if he has to have one. We certainly aren't strong enough to lift a 165 lb, 5'7" sack of potatoes into and out of a chair multiple times a day without injuring ourselves. 

Yes, I realize this is a poor article. We are horribly unprepared for this and have no idea how to proceed. We had hoped he'd be in a nursing home by now, but clearly that isn't going to happen. 

Don't let this happen to you. If you have an elderly relative who is showing signs of deterioration, start the paperwork immediately so that you don't have to wait like we do. 


  1. This is, by the numbers, a No Win situation. I believe you are doing everything correctly and others here will tell you the same thing.

  2. What David said. No ideas on how to "do it better." Lots of sympathy. :-(

  3. I agree with David absolutely. You are doing everything right. You might second guess yourself, I know I did when caring for my parents, but I tell you now that you are doing everything you can, correctly. And your blog here will help someone else so they don't have as hard a time in their life.

  4. Much love and concern for the no-win situation you are in. You are doing everything you can, but the system sucks. All I can advise is to find a nursing home that is accepting new patients (good luck) and get their help in navigating the system. Of course, I expect you have already done that, but we were fortunate enough to get the help we needed to get both of my parents into care immediately when they needed it. And yes, the nursing home when unpaid for almost three months while waiting for the system to catch up with what reality demanded. Seriously, the nursing home took a calculated risk, but I guess they were confident of what the final result would be.


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