April 7, 2008

Hannah's Journey - Part 2

This is a journal of events that my mother has been going through since 1989 and leading to her eventual stay in a nursing home. In order to keep each part of the journal I have been keeping over the last half year brief, I will post this journal in parts, as I entered them. All the postings for this continued article can be found in the Hannah's Journey folder.


My mother's surgery, which was a partial hip replacement, went very well. She will remain in UPMC McKeesport hospital for at least a week more. She entered on 11/7/07, had surgery the next day and they have let her recover for the weekend, with a small amount of moving around. This week begins a full schedule of physical therapy, 3 hours per day, with the thought that they will have her eventually do all the things she could do before the accident, in other words, dress herself and take care of herself completely. The therapy team evaluates the patients on a weekly basis, so on Tuesday, 11/20/2007, they will determine the next steps. This will be either being released, kept for another week or transferred to another physical therapy center.

The type of health coverage you have determines the therapy path. My mother has adequate coverage that is allowing her to remain in the hospital when she had the surgery thus far. It may be the case that her health insurance plus medicare will have her remain there until she is completely recovered. My mother worked in this hospital for many many years and when she retired, she obtained a health care plan that was very good. It will remain to be seen if it really does take care of her for the remainder of this issue, all the way to full recovery.

(as this entry was very short, I will include the next journal entry that I made as well)


My mother (Hannah) has been in physical therapy every day this week, a total of 3 hours per day and it has been difficult for her. She is slowly showing progress but has been in a semi state of confusion and random thoughts for the week. Her doctor had decreased her pain medication, but it still has left her in a confused state for the entire week. As of today (Friday), she is being changed to a pain med that should not effect her as bad. This will make things much better as she has wanted to get out of her chair or bed when by herself which is not permitted at this point. It has also been difficult to make sure a family member visits her at least once a day, but we have done so for this week. She is much more calm and eats better when one of us is there.

It looks like she will need to move to another physical therapy location next week and we are beginning to look into where would be the best choice for not only her care but to make is easy for family to continue to visit daily. We know that it is key to her recovery that family members continue to visit to keep her spirits up and to insure she is being cared for and not neglected. We have been fortunate in that she has medical insurance and medicare that is taking care of her costs. We need to continue to monitor that!

One thing we have found out is that while she is in the hospital getting therapy, if she would be there too long and improve too much, when we go to transfer her to another location, her insurance would not begin again. This must be done as minor therapy at the hospital and then begin FULL therapy at the location she moves to. That is why she has to move next week.

I did contact my employment Lifeworks assistance help to gain access to advice from a elder care manager. They will locate a care manager who is familiar with the area my mother will be moved in, which is McKeesport and then the care manger will advise us on locations reputation, etc. They provide 6 hours of assistance which would normally cost approximately $200 per hour.

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