A Guide to Caring for Aging Family Members

In October 2012, we three couples took another trip to our fall getaway. My mother-in-law had passed away a year-and-a-half previously.  I had had bilateral knee replacements and my rehabilitation was complete.  David and I were feeling particularly carefree.  The second night of our stay, Judene got up in the middle of the night,  took a wrong turn on her way to the bathroom, fell down a flight of stairs and broke her wrist.  (Thank God it wasn’t her neck!)  She called out to Manny, who roused Katie (the nurse) and off they all went to the emergency room.  While David I slept unaware of what had happened, Katie took care of the whole situation.  The following day, Manny took Judene home so that she could be treated by an orthopedist.

Later in the week, Katie confided to me that she was in the midst of a medical situation of her own. She had been experiencing dizziness and had a scary episode while driving.  Tests were run, and it was discovered that Katie had two brain aneurisms.  The doctor suggested that they keep a watch on the aneurisms to determine whether they were stable or growing.


But Katie felt like she had a time bomb hanging overhead. A few weeks later she decided to get another opinion from a surgeon at a big research hospital.  The surgeon described a relatively new procedure that he had performed 100 times with a 98% success rate.  Katie could expect to have the surgery and be home in three days.  Katie decided to undergo the procedure telling me, “Without surgery, I could have a stroke.”

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