I did it, but I don’t recommend it in all situations. Because of my grandmother’s strong will determination, and because of the progress she had made while in the skilled nursing facility, I went against her doctor’s wishes and her physical therapist’s wishes by taking her to her own home without 24 hour care.
It was not an easy thing to do. After all they were the professionals and if I was in their positions I would have made exactly the same recommendations. Mom, my grandmother, is 96. She weighed at that time less than 100 pounds. Her back is literally in the shape of a crooked question mark. She uses a walker for every step she takes and can not straighten up enough to see above her head. Their concerns were numerous and all valid.
However, I had one advantage. I knew Mom. I had spent many nights with her and saw how she took care of her needs when she was alone. She had recovered from her intestinal blockage enough that I felt she was at least as strong as she was previous to her hospitalization.
Yes. She was a fall risk. She has been a fall risk for the last several years. Indeed she has fallen more than a few times and had called her ‘lifeline’ each time to get help. Each time she falls, I again realize that we are one fall closer to the ‘big one’, the one that breaks her hip and takes her life. If we could keep her from falling, I believe with all my heart that she will live to be 100.
There is no way to keep her from falling short of not letting her walk at all. Even if we had 24 hour care (which we can not afford), even if I took her into my home, even if we placed her in a nursing home, she would still be a fall risk and the ‘big one’ will still come.
My feelings and emotions don’t really count here, because Mom’s best interest is center stage in this debate. However, I have had to personally make some decisions which do affect my feelings and emotions. I have decided that if Mom falls and breaks bones while alone at home and if those breaks lead to her death, then I will not feel guilty. Instead I will be grateful for the extra time she had at home, enjoying the comfort of her own possessions and surroundings.
When I took her back to the doctor for a checkup a couple of weeks ago, I really wanted to gloat and sneak an ‘I told you so” into our conversation. Mom is doing very well. She is now stronger and more alert than before. She has gained 8 pounds since coming home and ‘eating everything that doesn’t eat me first’. Yes, she is still 96 and she still can’t hear thunder, but she is doing extremely well. God is so good.