It's been a heck of a roller coaster here ... and a ride I don't care to take again I can assure you.
Nigel's mom coped well with the hip surgery - not bad at all for a 93-year-old with dementia to have a general anaesthetic and a hip replacement. She was groggy the first day but then in better spirits and although they hadn't really been able to get her up and moving she was doing OK.
We hoped that on discharge they would send her to rehab as clearly she wasn't going to be able to return home until she was more mobile.
We hit an all-time low yesterday. Elfin was not in a good state when we visited. She was withdrawn and uncooperative and very unhappy. We found that the root of the issue with her mood was that she had had a bed bath and felt it stripped her of her dignity - fair enough - it's not a pleasant experience. But it put her in a low and she obviously has fluctuating cognition because of her dementia. But it made her uncooperative with the physio team and she had refused to get up in the morning and when we were they attempted to get her up and out of bed but oh my goodness, with three people (Nigel doing the praise and encouragement and the two physios doing the 'work) they barely got her to stand up and she was resisting it the entire time. Consequently we were given the worst news possible. We were told she was not a candidate for rehab - the rehab places won't take dementia patients anyway. We asked what would happen then and they said she would be discharged home with a care package. Incredulous doesn't even begin to cover it. A 93-year-old with almost zero mobility at the moment and dementia so she doesn't understand she's even had an operation, was to be sent home to her flat with a care package of 4 visits a day. They would assess the home and if need be put in a hospital bed and a hoist but that was their recommendation. They said perhaps where she was now with fitness was the new baseline for her. This is a lady who, though frail, was walking unaided up until her fall. And when she fell, at 11 pm at night, she had walked almost 1 1/2 miles in the dark alone without aids. We were so upset - both in a tearful way (I cried) and an angry way that the system could treat someone like this. She worked all her life well into her 70s and always paid into the system. We were trying to sell her flat to fund her care but they felt it appropriate to pretty much wash their hands of her and send her home. Poor Nigel was utterly devastated and I felt unable to do anything to help him. well except contact some wonderful people - Elly who is a specialist dementia nurse and Zahra who was just awesomely wonderful.
Armed with information nd questions we went back in this morning with a view to meeting with the social worker and the therapy team and finding a workable alternative.
And my goodness what a difference a day made. Elfin was up, sat in her chair, cheerful, chatty and wanting to get up and walk to the loo (beyond her level of competence yet but the fact was she wanted to have a go) It was like seeing a different woman. And yes, of course, we know that tomorrow we could have the withdrawn disengaged stubborn lady, but today's lady was wonderful. And so was the social worker. She took time to listen, to understand the situation, to consider and we think - we hope - the agreement is now in place for her to go to temporary residential care for a period of 4 - 6 weeks where there will be qualified staff on hand 24/7 to help her recover and keep her safe. With the best will in the world, we could not give the level of nursing care needed until she becomes more mobile. We'd be terrified of hurting her if we lifted her etc. When it was agreed my wonderful strong rock of a man, who I lean on all the time, who never gets outwardly bothered by anything, who is one of life's fixers and copers, burst into tears of relief. It broke my heart to see him like that and know how terrified he had been.
It all still needs to be finalised but we feel she is in a much better position to be kept safe than a mere 24 hours ago.
Needless to say, life has not been conducive to scrapping but after ploughing through that you deserve something pretty to look at so these are three pages completed a little while ago that have not been on my blog. And yes - there are always Disney pages to make!
Today I am thankful for
- our NHS - there were some incredibly kind and lovely people today helping her - and us
social services - I know they can be difficult sometimes but they have budgets and targets and a lack of funding but they do try to help and the lady today was wonderful
So - we are now going to sit doen after an awful few days and I strongly suspect there may be wine!