A Guide to Caring for Aging Family Members

Now waiting for approval of the plan was not necessarily a bad thing.  Katie was scheduled to go through a complicated “tendon release” procedure to try to straighten and relax her contracted limbs.  It would not be feasible to care for her at home during this time.

Sam had to have Katie transported to a larger city, about 2 hours away, to receive the treatment–which was not available locally, even at the teaching hospital in our area.  Over a period of several weeks, Katie’s limbs were stretched and casted a number of times in preparation for tendon release surgery.

casts

The procedure resulted in escalating pain, which was especially difficult during transportation to and from the treatment facility.  Because Katie began to cry out continually, her narcotic medications were increased.

On September 12th, while I was away on a trip to visit my daughter’s family and while Sam was away on a long-planned and much-needed fishing getaway, I received an e-mail from Katie’s care manager from the Area Agency on Aging.  The care plan had been approved!

Sam was not checking his e-mail, and I decided not to try to phone him while he was on his trip.  After a few anxious days, I was finally able to talk to Sam.  But my good news was tempered by his disturbing news.  When Sam went to visit Katie upon returning from his trip, he was unable to awaken her—she was unresponsive.

And, tendon release surgery was scheduled for the following week…

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