“So what now? I’m still trying to decide if I should hop the next plane and come up there.” James was doing his best to process all the information Catherine had just relayed to him. It had been an exhausting ordeal. First, Catherine had called with the news that mom had had a major stroke and that the situation looked dire. Then came the call about what to do, as the doctors were unsure if Hazel could survive without supports. James was packing his suitcase when the next call came explaining that his mom had finally stabilized. Catherine had done a great job at remaining calm throughout the entire incident, keeping everyone up to date as she received status reports from the medical staff.
Catherine had explained that, while Hazel was in stable condition, they were looking at permanent mobility and speech issues. That being said, it was still too soon to tell how much damage the stroke had done.
“She’s going to be assessed further,” Catherine explained. “They mentioned a rehabilitation placement, but I’m not sure yet what that entails.” Catherine was pacing the hallway in the ward. She had done a lot of walking and talking the past few days.
“So, is rehabilitation done at the hospital, or will she be heading back home for that?” James was still at work, finishing up his work day. He had so many questions about what was going on and felt fairly useless that he lived so far away. He was jotting down notes as Catherine gave him more details. He at least could do some research to help.
“I don’t think going back to the Manor is an option now,” Catherine tried to explain, still pacing up and down the hall. “The type of supports mom is going to need is more than what the Manor can provide.”
James was confused. “I thought mom and dad chose the Manor so that they could age in place there?” Catherine wasn’t sure what James meant by ‘age in place.’ “What are you getting at James? I’ve never heard that term before.”
“Well, it’s a seniors place, right?” James went on. “Mom and dad should be able to stay there now and get all the help they need. I mean, that’s why they pay good money to be there. It’s up to the Manor to take care of them now.”
“Um…that’s not entirely accurate…,” Catherine tried to explain, but was cut-off by her brother.
“Like, when mom had her fall, she was able to get home care in to help her out after. Wouldn’t this work the same way?” James was now typing searches into his computer. There had to be some information online as to what was covered at the Manor.
Catherine tried her best to explain. “No. When mom had her fall, her issues were only temporary. She just needed some supports until she recovered and got her strength back. This is different James because Mom’s different now. Her mobility will never come back. She needs 24/7 care. Dad’s not going to be able to help out with this. Not the way she needs.”
“Well, what about you?” James asked. “Me?” Catherine responded incredulously. “I’m not a nurse James and I can’t just move in with them. I don’t think you understand the severity of all this.”
“I’m trying my best to,” James explained. And it was true. “So, do I need to come out there then? I’m hearing that things are serious enough that I should.”
Catherine sighed. “Yeah. Maybe you should.”
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