Sunday, March 23, 2008

Prisoners of their apartment--Mom & Dad are failing

My father, who's had memory problems for many years (prompting our visit to them in Jerusalem in August 2005), has taken a dramatic turn for the worse in the past few weeks--he's now incontinent and incapable of walking, even with a four-pronged cane, more than three steps at a time. When he went for a CAT scan recently to determine whether he'd had a stroke, he needed help from three people to get him back up the stairs to his apartment. My brother has already told my mother that, when he's not available to help, she'll have to call an ambulance at a cost of $90.

My mother is understandably hesitant to leave my father alone in the apartment. In addition, she, herself, was hospitalized a few months ago, and no longer leaves the house alone to do more than go down to street level and get the mail because she doesn't trust her ability to walk any further, even with a cane. My parents' helper, a wonderful English-speaking woman who goes out of her way to do nice things for them, comes only three days per week. The last time my mother went further than the apartment-house entrance was when she got a haircut about a week ago.

My New York City sister and northern California brother and I each received an e-mail from our Israeli brother last night asking for legal documents authorizing him to take legal guardianship of our father, and of our mother, when the need arises. The question of whether that's the best way to proceed at this time is now under discussion across continents and oceans.


Blogger Tzipporah said...

oof. That sucks. I'm sorry to hear about it.

Is there any chance of moving them to assisted living? Or at least to an apartment on the ground floor?

Mon Mar 24, 01:57:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

This is one of those problems for which the best cure would be to throw money at it. *Lots* of money. Which none of us has. :( What we're trying to determine is whether there's any good way to help our father that won't put our mother at financial risk and/or bankrupt our Israeli brother, who's currently supplementing our parents' income out of what he'd saved for his own retirement.

Mon Mar 24, 08:31:00 PM 2008  

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