Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Old people in hospital

have been very much on my mind of late. 
The Senior Cat is still in hospital. Yesterday we thought he would be coming home first tomorrow and then today. Now they say he will be there another week.
I can see what is happening. I think Middle Cat can too, as can our brother. 
The problem this time is that the Senior Cat has been wearing those non-slip safety socks - the sort with the little bits of rubber that are supposed to decrease the risk of falls. He has not been wearing shoes even though he has been spending most of his time out of bed.
He should have been wearing shoes. Middle Cat told them this. As a physiotherapist she is well aware of the condition of his feet. His circulation is not great these days and that adds to the other problems of "some of the flattest feet in the universe". Now he has another problem on one foot and, on seeing it, the podiatrist and Middle Cat had a discussion and then they had a discussion with the OT. Then they said, "Another week..."
I have not spoken to the Senior Cat since then. Yesterday I saw him before all this occurred. He will be frustrated in the extreme. He says he feels a "fraud" because he isn't really ill.
The staff have, variously, told me, "We like having him here."
I can understand that. He is "one of the few people we can have a conversation with". 
In order to enter the Senior Cat's ward you need to be "buzzed" in and out by staff who have access to the electronic lock on their lanyards.  Some patients would otherwise go wandering. They would quickly end up lost and confused - if they are not already lost and confused. 
The Senior Cat is by far the most mentally alert person there. Provided he can understand one of the many accents among the staff he can actually have a conversation with them. Many of the others remind me of the people in the dementia unit I visited for several years. The person I visited there did not have dementia but she was unable to communicate except via her communication board. The only other person in the area without dementia used to sit with her and they would hold slow conversations. The staff did not have time to help. 
At the hospital the staff do seem to have some time, at least a little. This is probably because, in that area, the patients don't need nursing care. They do need other things - like appropriate stimulation. Some of that might help the man opposite. He seems normal on casual acquaintance but he wanders around restlessly unless he is watching television. He won't eat the hospital food and relies on a friend who brings in food from a fast food chain each day. He has been there for seventeen weeks now and the staff don't know what will happen to him.
We know what will happen to the Senior Cat if certain other things happen. We don't want him in a nursing home. He would go. He isn't that stupid or that selfish. But, he would hate it and we would too. We would rather he was home.
And that is what we are all working towards.


Southern Gal said...

My heart is with all of you dealing with this. My remaining parent lives alone in a state with no child resident (because she has the means and is stubborn) but she is 86 and i fear the phone call that will come at some point. Her house was flooded in 2017 and we begged her to move to the one sibling with the financial means and time (no fulltime job) to be available for her. But she is stubborn. I finally had to let go and realize that she has made her choice and as i do not have financial means to insist on anything else... there is nothing i can do (well i could give up my life and go live nearby but ... not really an option). anyway, you seem to have decent relationships with your siblings so that yall are working this out. I know you bear the burden of caring for him and that you want him home to continue... I will pray that some wise doctor agrees and he is returned to you!

catdownunder said...

I wonder whether we will be stubborn too? I keep telling myself I won't put my nephews or niece through any trouble, that I will move into a facility if I can but will I?
I am lucky that Middle Cat is here to help and my brother would be on the first flight in an emergency. That's two out of three I can rely on. Not everybody has that.