My New Normal

Mom’s doing better since her stroke. Last week she started her physical therapy sessions, and in a week her occupational therapy begins.  I am happy to report she’s been able to get around more than she could the first week after the stroke.

I’ve learned a few things since Mom returned home from the hospital. While I imagine I have more to learn—I’ll pass on a few tips to those who might be facing a similar situation.

I don’t know if this applies to all hospitals—or all states in the US—but at our hospital they have social service counselors who can direct you to programs that can help after the patient leaves the hospital. As it turned out, Mom’s doctor at the hospital ordered home health care for her, so they arranged one for us.

Home health care is a temporary service, paid for by Medicare. They cover Mom’s physical and occupational therapy, along with a nurse that will come to the house as needed and someone who comes in several times a week to help Mom bathe. Before the stroke she could do this herself.

They also have a counselor that will direct us to available services that can help us with Mom’s ongoing care.

A few days after Mom got home she fell in the bathroom. But, she didn’t hit her head, and I was able to get her up. The nurse from home health came to check her out. She told us if Mom had hit her head to absolutely call 911, and get her to the hospital.

She also told us about a neat service in our community. Perhaps yours has one too. It is call Lift Assist. If someone falls, yet you can’t get them back up, Lift Assist will come out and help him or her up—without calling out the paramedics. Of course, if they get to your house and determine you should have called paramedics instead, they will call them out.

Knowing they offer this service was a great relief to me. 

I suggest getting organized—have those things your elderly parent needs in the bathroom close at hand, which often means reorganizing the existing bathroom, and for someone like my mother, who had a little too many non-essential knickknacky things around, do some de-cluttering.

Another thing we learned—dresses and nightgowns! Mom always wore slacks. She was never one to wear housedresses or nightgowns. But we quickly realized, if she wanted to dress herself without someone helping her, she needed to find something easier to slip on. She struggled putting on her slacks. Of course, if the elderly parent you are caring for is a man, then this tip may not be for you.

I also learned, Amazon Prime is my friend! There are a variety of things I needed to get for Mom—such as the new housedresses, nightgowns, and items of a more personal nature. Going shopping was not an option for me—it’s hard to get away from the house now. Plus, I sorta hate shopping.

Outside it is 60 degrees on a Sunday afternoon. Too chilly to take the boat out. It has been a cold winter. Last year at this time we were taking the boat out. Once it warms up, we will need to find someone to stay with Mom for a few hours at at time, so we can get out on the lake again. But for now…back to work.

Fortunately, I work at home and I have a camera set up in Mom’s room, where I can keep an eye on her while I work. She is currently going through some of her pictures and watching TV.  I also hear the TV on in the living room; hubby is watching football. What are you doing this Sunday afternoon?