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Thread: Help for my mom

  1. #1

    Help for my mom

    My mom is 70 years old and was in the hospital rehabbing from a mild stroke and some general debilitation due to having 2 major surgeries this summer when she suffered a spinal hematoma and had to have decompression surgery. She currently is 2 days out from this and has some sensation to one leg above the knee and a very slight turning of that leg at the ankle. The surgeon said her nerves all looked good, but he feels she will never use her legs again.

    In talking to the doctors, they are acting as though her life is over and nursing home is her only option. Before all this, she was an extremely active woman who lived alone and did everything for herself, working 2 days a week, driving, out and about with friends, etc. At the time of this happening, she was walking in rehab with a walker and working on some speech/swallow issues and appeared to be making good progress participating in 3 hours of PT, OT, and ST a day. Right now, I know she is not strong enough to do rehab 3 hours a day, which is what the hospital requires for her to be on the rehab floor, but I am hopeful that we can get her into some type of program and give her a chance.

    Any advice for me? The hospital has a rehab floor, but I've looked around at a few rehab facility websites as well. Would she be a candidate at them with her age and stroke along with the spinal cord injury? We are in Missouri.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    How much longer are they willing to keep her in the acute hospital? Is she already getting therapy?

    I would strongly recommend that she go to a specialty SCI rehabilitation program. While many programs do (unfairly, I believe) discriminate on the basis of age with a SCI, we have had a number of people over 70 who did very well in a SCI acute rehabilitation program. Having a discharge plan that is realistic is a key to this. Are you or other family members willing to step forward and agree to have her live with you after rehab, at least initially?

    While they may suggest that she go to a nursing home until stronger, this is often not successful as the nursing home is 1) not expert in SCI care and 2) unlikely to work hard in her behalf to get her then moved to a SCI center, and 3) unlikely to provider her the type of therapy she needs to be able to get stronger. If they do this, family members will have to be very vigilant and be at the nursing home daily to push them and your mother, meanwhile maintaining contact with the acute rehab center and pushing to get her in there.

    In Missouri, unfortunately there are no CARF accredited SCI acute rehabilitation centers outside of the VA. She is not a Veteran, is she? Would you be willing to take her someplace out of state such as Chicago (RIC) or Denver (Craig) or Atlanta (Shephard Center)?

    (KLD)

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