Our dear neighbor lady, who is eighty-eight years old, fell a couple of days ago and broke her hip. She was working in an outside flower bed when she lost her balance and fell backwards onto the ground. No one heard her cries for help, so after several minutes she finally pushed the alert necklace that she wears and an ambulance arrived to take her to the hospital.
We didn’t know anything had happened until an hour or so later when I arrived home on my lunch break. We hurried to the hospital that afternoon, but were unable to see her until after surgery. They placed a steel rod through the bone to help it mend back together, and she seems to be doing pretty well considering everything.
The doctor mentioned a nursing home almost immediately after seeing the family and it bothered both of us a great deal. She has told us on numerous occasions that she would rather die than go to one, however, it seems inevitable since she has lost her mobility and has no family able to care for her properly. We expressed our willingness to do whatever we can to help, but there are some things that we probably couldn’t take care of – like personal hygiene.
Her only son lives a couple of hours away and is currently caring for his invalid wife at home. Her grandchildren are scattered across the country. It would seem that a nursing home is the only option, even though everyone is aware of her feelings about it.
We did get some better news yesterday, when her son informed me that the hospital discussed keeping her on their rehabilitation floor for a couple of weeks so she can get physical therapy and possibly get back to walking. I was also surprised to hear that she had already gotten up (with help) and sat in a chair for an hour. Her son said the doctor explained that the type of break and surgery that she had is the easiest to heal from. We are now hopeful that she can come home after her hospital stay, as the neighborhood just isn’t the same without her.
There was a really cute thing she said after surgery, when the nurses were checking her into a room and asking the usual questions. As they inquired about any changes in her eating habits, she loudly announced that she had been craving chocolate, which gave us all a much needed laugh!