Thursday, January 20, 2011

Case Studies #15/16/17/18

15.    An 89 year old man, in a rural town, has prostate cancer and is having chemo treatments every 3 weeks.  The patient has battled cancer for 12 years, having chemo every summer and fall for the last 3 years.  The doctor now also suspects early Alzheimer’s disease. He was a paratrooper in WW II.  He loves music, and plays the saxophone, the clarinet, guitar and some piano.  He also loves sports.   He and his wife feel this is the end stretch of his illness. He is unable to choose the sports stations he used to love. He is losing the ability to manage the TV clicker.

His wife works four days a week in another town, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  and must leave him alone for these long periods of time. They need the money.

16.    A 71 year old man lives a few minutes outside of a small town in a retirement home.  He has had a mini stroke, has COPD, type 2 diabetes, an enlarged prostate and Alzheimer’s disease.  His wife is very lonely, and in need of support.  He is up to the bathroom an average of 5 times per night. His wife is tired, and stressed. She sleeps over in the home as much as she can, as a retirement home need not provide the time of supervision he requires. She has arrived and found him alone and fallen to the floor. The waiting time for LTC is estimated to be nine months.

17.    A 55 year old husband lives with his family in a rural small town.  A year ago he had brain surgery for grand mal epileptic seizures. On his good days, he can send his step-children off to school. He cannot be left alone on his bad days. On his bad days he must have the kids stay home to watch him. His wife must work to pay the bills. She has no one to care for him when he knows he is going to have a petit mal seizure.

18. A smoker.  He has a cat, two dogs.  His health concern is MS and he is now in a wheelchair.  He was a teacher, who quietly left his career, a respected and well-loved elementary teacher. His episodes gradually lowered has physical capabilities, meaning he could no longer write computer-generated report cards. He is now visually impaired.  He and his wife moved to an adult -only condo, but he needs more help than his petite wife can provide. An application is being made to long term care.  His is a social worker, and is away up to 12 hours per day.  His days are long and are alone.  He is isolated, with little companionship. He eschewed contact with former colleagues, and has few supports.

These are the stories of seniors who need support.

Related Links:

Community, not technology, is what people with health issues need.
'Elderly parents sue adult children for support'
This is a law that needs changing.
Where does responsibility lie? Many seniors eschew help. And, if they have the money to sue their children, surely they have the money to purchase home care services. Some seniors have spent their lives abusing their children, dealing with addictions or mental health issues, and may have been absentee parents for one reason or another. These seniors call their adult children at all hours of the night or day. If you come to their rescue when they ought to be in long-term care, you enable them to live alone and at risk.

I believe that adults choose to have children, not the reverse. You bring someone into the world, you have a responsibility to care for them. Once they are adults you hope you have given them roots and wings.

I've taught kids whose mothers were drug abusers, and virtually abandoned them. I cannot see, with these kids ending up in foster care, or living with their grandparents, that they owe anyone anything. In fact, we owe them the reverse. I've taught kids who were desperate for love from their parents, but their parents were in jail, or unable and unwilling to give them care.

No comments: