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Thread: 81 Year Old Uncle Suffered SCI

  1. #1

    81 Year Old Uncle Suffered SCI

    My Uncle and aunt were struck by an automobile a month ago. He received a C5-6-7 incomplete injury and also an uncertain T-4 injury. (It is very difficult to get acurate information.) Unfortunate we found this website two weeks after the accident and weren't able to follow some of the excellent suggestions made for caregivers.
    After about three weeks he was moved from intensive care to an accute rehab center. He is there now. They have weened him off of the ventilator and have just begun to allow him to eat regular food. He can move his neck slightly and his arms from the sholder and elbow. There is very little movement in his wrists and no movement in his fingers.
    His auto insurance is paying for his medical bills now but when he is moved to a rehab center supposedly medicare will take over. The social work told his daughter that medicare will only pay for 28 days of rehab. How will he be able to improve if he wil be sent to a nursing home where they only provide paliative care?
    If anyone has experience dealing with the bureacratic end of the rehabilitation process could you please enlighten us.
    Also, it would be helpful if someone could share with us, know how they were able to deal with the depression associated with SCI.
    My aunt is just now getting close to being released from the hospital after a month. She incurred a broken humerus and a broken scapular and both the tibula and fibula. Unfortunately she also developed an severe infection and that has slowed her rehabilitation. She will need full time care at home for some time. It truly is a very sad situation.
    Thank you to any one who can give us any advise.

  2. #2
    Hello, sorry for your troubles.
    Start a new thread with what you wrote here and you will get more responses.
    Sometimes people don't look at ones that were started so long ago.

  3. #3
    It would help to know where your uncle is now (state, city, facility). It is true that Medicare will limit his rehab days. It is not right, but that is the reality. It will be critical now to see if family can pull together to arrange to make the home accessible and provide or pay for in-home care for both of them so that nursing home placement is not going to be the only option. The social worker and case manager should be helping with this. Is this a specialty SCI rehab center, or a general rehab? Are they CARF accredited? It is critical that the entire family participate in maximizing the benefits he can get from an intensive rehabilitation program now, and then prepare to transition to an outpatient program when the Medicare days end.

    By any chance is either your uncle or aunt a US military veteran? If so, then you should explore their possible access to VA rehabilitation services, either inpatient or outpatient. If your uncle is a WWII or Korean War veteran, he may also be eligible for a VA pension. A VA SCI Center would be ideal for him, even if this means traveling some distance from home.


  4. #4
    Nursing home = put on the shelf, bare joyless, impersonal existence, nothing to live for, everything happens according to the set schedule.
    Live at home with assistance = chance for a full life (well, as good as can be with SCI). Something more to do than watch TV all day; variation in the daily routine.
    The depression is very real and hard to deal with. There's a lot of loss to grieve for, a lot of crying to do. >5 years after my wife's SCI we both still feel it, although it has dulled a lot and is not always present now. Being at home rather than a nursing home would make a HUGE difference in that. Being with a loved one - your aunt - will help him, as will lots of presence of the rest of the family.

  5. #5
    Please let us know how things are going. Like SCI nurse said,a case manager or social worker should be helping.
    My heart goes out to your family.

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