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Old 03-27-2009, 08:40 PM   #21
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so sorry you are going through this, Wahoo. Even sorrier for your FIL. Remember that no matter how old we get, even though we know we're "old," we don't really let ourselves believe it most of the time (my mother was eloquent on this point, even shortly before her death at 85). Inside, we think of ourselves as the same person we always were. Your FIL has no way to deceive or distract himself from reality now, so his frustration can only be imagined.

As tough as you say he is, I hope he will work ferociously at his rehabilitation and amaze everyone, including himself. Best of luck.
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Old 03-28-2009, 04:46 PM   #22
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REWahoo - sorry to hear about your FIL - what an awesome character, though.

My grandfather had a stroke and went very quickly - things are different now with the ability of the pharmaceuticals to minimize the damage if one is quickly assessed. The fact that he went to the trauma center for strokes is a good thing. Yes, rehab is aspect which is under control of the patient. That's true for almost all injuries that involve therapy. However, I do like your approach of letting your FIL work through this himself and it does sound as though the staff is knowledgeable and can help both you and him through this transition. Best of luck for you all.
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:29 PM   #23
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I trust you are aware of the Medicare website that provides information on nursing homes. Be sure to review the last two inspections by your health department. We discovered that "pretty" does not correlate with good care.
ReWahoo
Sorry to hear about your challenge--very unlikely it was on your 'activity list" for 2009.
Want to second Brat's comment regarding inspecting the facility's last inspections from the certifying agency. In WA, they are done by the State rather than local. Be sure you note the character and frequency of infractions. I also suggest to inquire about the length of time the Administrator has been in place as well as the Director of Nursing (DNS). These two positons set the tone for the quality and delivery of care.
When you are down to your short list, I would encourage you show up without an appointment and watch what is going on. Particularly if you can get there during meal time.
Lot's of effort but well worth avoiding having to "fix" a problem
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Old 03-28-2009, 05:49 PM   #24
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Sorry to hear about your FIL . It is never easy dealing with our aging parents .
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Old 03-29-2009, 12:28 PM   #25
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Be sure you note the character and frequency of infractions. I also suggest to inquire about the length of time the Administrator has been in place as well as the Director of Nursing (DNS). These two positons set the tone for the quality and delivery of care.
My Mother was in Oregon when she broke her hip. The best skilled nursing facility turned out to be owned my a company with problem facilities. THE DIFFERENCE was the ADMINISTRATOR and the DNS. Interestingly, many of the residents were low income and probably on assistance. Mom didn't want to stay past her rehabilitation period because she couldn't relate to the other residents. If she had been able to get past that I think she would have received better care than the upscale facility she moved to.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:40 PM   #26
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Thanks to all of you for your empathy and information.

I spent much of last week helping DW research and tour nursing homes in our area. We found 17 within a reasonable distance, eliminated 12 due to low Medicare and state inspection scores, and visited the remaining 5. We went back a second time to three of those and she settled on two that she liked, both about 25 miles from our house. It came down to which of the two seemed have a more caring environment, and she waffled before making the final call today.

Two and a half weeks after his stroke and after two weeks at a skilled nursing/rehab facility, FIL shows only slight improvement. Tomorrow he will be transferred 200 miles by ambulance to the NH DW selected. He will continue to get therapy, but at a significantly lower level of intensity.

He had no LTC insurance and his costs for NH care will be paid from his life savings until they are depleted.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:49 PM   #27
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Rough Wahoo. I am sorry he didn't make better progress so far. I hope he will catch a break soon.

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Old 04-07-2009, 09:06 PM   #28
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Yes, I hope things will improve for him.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:16 PM   #29
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Final update:

Last Friday, a week after his 90th birthday, FIL died from complications of the stroke he suffered five months ago.

His funeral was held in his small hometown in West Texas, attended mostly by sunburned old cowboys wearing jeans and boots. We heard dozens of stories about how he was the archetypal old west cowboy with legendary toughness and a reputation for telling it like it was. He had told many of his friends over the past few years that he'd lived a good life - he'd had a good wife, wonderful children and great horses. Of course no one would swear he made the statement in precisely that order.

I was talking with a group of those old cowboys after the service and was surprised to find they held me in high esteem for something I did more than 40 years ago. To quote one of them "I can't imaging the courage it must have taken to ask him for for his only daughter's hand in marriage."

He was quite a character.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:23 PM   #30
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My sincere salute to your father-in-law.

I'm sure he'll be missed.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:29 PM   #31
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I am so sorry for your loss. Your FIL sounds like quite a man. There are not many like him around any more.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:30 PM   #32
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Best wishes to you and the family--it sounds like he enriched a lot of lives. I'm sorry his final months were so difficult.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:51 PM   #33
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Last Friday, a week after his 90th birthday, FIL died from complications of the stroke he suffered five months ago.
Sorry for your loss. Can't imagine from what you describe that he would have wanted it any other way given his recent stroke.

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Old 08-16-2009, 01:13 AM   #34
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I'm not any sort of medical professional.
My grandmother was in a nursing home for about 10 years after a stroke. She was awake and conscious and knew what was going on but could not talk, or move much at all.
But somehow you could tell she was following the conversation. Maybe with her eyes, I can't tell you but I know she knew and understood. She would chuckle sometimes, and at appropriate moments. She kept her sunny personality through it all, somehow.
You may already know this, but I would suggest that you assume that he hears and understands everything anyone says around him. So if anyone is talking baby talk, or talking gloom and doom, anywhere near him, cease and desist. Just talk with him like you normally would. No condescension.
Just my suggestion.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:23 AM   #35
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toofrugarlformycat, as you may have discerned it is too late for REWahoo to take your advice as his father-in-law has passed away. But your advice may be very helpful to others who have family members that are stroke victims. My brother had several severe strokes about five years ago, but thank goodness he can still communicate - - however if he gets worse I will remember your advice.

REWahoo, my condolences to you, your DW, and the rest of your family. Your description of your FIL was amazing. There aren't many true cowboys of his generation left and it sounds like he will be sorely missed.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:01 AM   #36
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REWahoo-I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. How wonderful of his friends to share such heart warming memories with you. He must have been quite a man.
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:35 AM   #37
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You have my condolence, as well.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:15 AM   #38
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You have my condolences too. He was blessed to have the life he loved for so many years.

Last weekend I attended my 50 year HS reunion. One of our classmates, a professor at a NE university, was scheduled to take his former position in our class rally squad that evening. Unfortunately he suffered a massive stroke ten days earlier and we are praying for restoration of a quality life.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:19 AM   #39
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I'm sorry to hear about this, REW.

If you feel like talking about it, did you ever get an idea of why he didn't want to communicate with you or DW soon after the stroke? Did that change?
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:27 AM   #40
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Happy trails to the old cowboy.
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