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My father is 78 and has been in 5 different nursing homes over the last 4 years. He has 4 children but I am the only one that has chosen to stay in the area to help take care of him OR even communicate with him. The current nursing home he has been in for almost 2 years and by far is the best of all the previous nursing homes. Let me tell you a quick story of what life can be like for the only child in the family that is the contact point for this man.

Monday night at 11pm I received a phone call from the nursing home stating that my father had coughed so much that he had thrown up a little and aspirated into his lungs. He was breathing OK now but his color was off and they didn’t want him to get pneumonia so they recommend him be taken by ambulance to the closest hospital for further review and treatment. I was relieved to know his blood sugar, he has a history of diabetic problems, had not spiked over 600 sadly. I agreed to the ambulance and thought this didn’t sound like to big of a deal and would get an update from the hospital the next day.

As usual life got crazy and I didn’t think of it. I knew I would be going to the nursing home on Thursday to see my dad and I would get an update on everything then. When I arrived the nursing home had me fill out his readmission papers since he had been readmitted on Wednesday and now Medicare would be covering him the first 20 days, then his summplemental policy would kick in again. Typical paperwork that I am very familiar with at this point. I was in a for a big surprise just a few minutes later.

I walked into visit my father who was fast asleep and snoring. I assumed after his hospital stay he had probably gotten little sleep and was now catching up on it. I chatted with his roomate and went down to the nurses station for an update. I let them know I had heard nothing else since their phone call and was wondering how everything went at the hospital…….. They looked at each other in schock and looked at me……. with a short silence then said…….. “The hospital never called you?”. I said….”No, were they supposed too?”. Then things got interesting. I will tell you more in my next installment of.

“Taking care of my dad, when the other siblings have abandoned him”.

 

David

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