"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Monday, September 10, 2012

NURSING HOME SADNESS

"Ned," has some dementia but is self grooming, gets around with his cane and appears to be basically intact.  For reasons unknown to me, he has been placed in the nursing home, his status doesn't appear that serious.  I think he'd do fine in assisted living but nobody asked me.
 His wife comes to visit and she has power of attorney and is the only decision maker as to his activities; such as attending a church locally.  She has to allow it otherwise it can't happen.
She's physically healthy but she appears to have some dementia and doesn't want to make decisions.
Ned got upset with the facility the other day and went out the front door and headed down the street.  Police were called, they escorted him back to the facility but refused to do a 3 day commitment.  Staff put him 1-to-1 with a male nurse because they didn't know what to do.
Sunday rolls around, Ned gets dressed, ready for his pastor to pick him up and take him to church.  The wife is called, told she needs to come in and decide if he can go to church.  She comes, but doesn't know what to do.  She insists the nurses make the decision, they tell her that only she can make the decisions.  She is in a dither, continue to argue that the nurses must make the decisions and she'll go along with it.  The head nurse say, "No, you are the only one who can make the decision."  They go back and forth for a good 1/2 hour in this same vain.  She is sooo upset, looking for guidance but it is her decision alone.  She never makes it but the nurse finally intuits her acceptance of his going off to church with his pastor.

Ned wants to live at home, wife doesn't want him to.  Ned has some dementia; wife has some dementia.  Children are not in view.  Wife empowered to make all decisons but doesn't want to make any.  The nursing home is stuck in the middle with an obligation to go EXACTLY by the law lest they be sued.

Ned's unhappy, his wife is unhappy, the nursing home is unhappy but at the moment "it is what it is" and  I watch with great sadness the situation of Ned and his wife.  One wishes for an easy solution but as in real life; there doesn't appear to be one.

God helps us all.

3 comments:

LCannon said...

What a sad post. My mom has dementia. 80% of the time she seems with it - but there is that 20% when she doesn't seem so co-herant. It has been great that my sibs and I - and even our in-laws rally around her and nobody takes advantage. I wish everybody had that.

rabbi-philosopher said...

And as there are more and more people with less and less kids; the problems facing the elderly can only get worse.

diya aur baati hum said...

so nice blog