"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Monday, January 18, 2016

Getting home

Today I was at a meeting with the professionals involved in getting Dad back home. He has been in hospital since Boxing Day, during which time he has needed a blood transfusion for anaemia, a permanent catheter and two or three courses of intravenous antibiotics for infections, of which two were pneumonia. Over the last week or so, his mobility has declined to the point where, although he can sometimes stand and bear his own weight, he is not able to walk and, although he sits out in the chair during the morning, he usually gets tired by lunchtime and needs to get back into bed. 
On his good days, he can't understand why he can't just go back home and resume his daily life, conveniently forgetting that he has had help from carers four times a day for the past few months. Other days, he can fall asleep mid sentence and yet other times, the delirium he is prone to during his spells in hospital comes to the fore and there is little connection with reality. 
However, through good and bad, he has always stressed to anyone who would listen that he wanted to go home as soon as possible and finally, things are beginning to be put into place for this.

The occupational therapist has visited his house, where I have cleared the living room to make space for a hospital bed, and is happy with it, the consultant has agreed that it would be in his best interests to be cared for at home, and the district nurse is now going to contact Hospice at Home to provide carers to visit four times a day to see to his practical needs.
"All this fuss!" said Dad when we reported back to him. "I don't need carers. I can look after myself!" He reminds us that he looked after the house and Mum for years when she was ill, and so he did, admirably, so it's difficult for him to come to terms with the fact that now it is he who needs help and support and who can blame him?

It's a difficult business, the growing old thing.

4 comments:

  1. What a trouper! A man you could hold your hat to!

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  2. As you say, getting old is a difficult business. We had to move my dad from his house of 50+ years into a three room sheltered flat because he could no longer cope with the stairs. From being an active 80 something walking five miles a day, he can now barely manage 100 yards without pausing for breath and spends most days in his chair watching tv. It's hard to come to terms with and even harder for him.

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  3. Oh dear! So sorry to hear about your father's decline Jenny. It must be a constant worry for you. And the reality is that the graph of well-being won't be rising any time soon. All that you can do is keep on loving him.

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  4. It's good that dad is getting home, and with good community prep too. Dad may perk up a lot once he is in his own environment.

    You are wonderful!


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