I’m sure there were times when we were growing up that our parents said things like “It will be okay” or “It will get better” when they had no way of knowing whether it was true or not. Now it’s my turn.
Last Christmas when I was staying at my dad’s place, he expressed his fear that if his hands or legs got worse and he couldn’t manage, he’d be put in a nursing home. I blithely assured him that no one was going to send him off to a nursing home. I shouldn’t have, because I personally have no way of taking care of him. I made a promise I couldn’t keep.
Watch and Wait
Since my father was admitted to Deer Lodge Centre (a geriatrics/rehab hospital), he has basically been too ill to do the physio that hopefully will make him strong enough to return to his apartment in the retirement complex. The social worker assigned to the wing my father’s in told my sister and me that they don’t usually keep a patient this long who is not participating in physiotherapy. But, in light of the infections he’s been fighting, they decided to postpone any recommendations. She went on to explain the process, just so that we would know what might lie ahead.
My dad’s team of health care professionals would assess his progress. Ms. N. cautioned us however, that he would have to make significant progress for him to live on his own again. Essentially, if OT/physio was successful, he would be able to go home. If he was deemed not strong enough to live independently, steps to place him into long-term care, a.k.a. nursing home, would then be taken. My sister (the tattletale) told Ms. N about the promise I made. The social worker told me what I already (sort of) knew – unless I can take care of him virtually around the clock, there’s really no other alternative.
Life is Like That
I still feel like I’m letting Dad down. I’m secretly hoping that, against all odds, he’ll prove all of us wrong and start to leap small buildings after just a few OT sessions.