Wondering what the new year will bring.
DH went into a geri-chair a few weeks ago, since he was a fall risk. He had started leaning strongly to one side, and would fall when trying to sit in a chair or on his bed. He'd hang onto other things for balance, like other patients' wheelchairs which put them at risk. He tried to get out of the geri chair for a week, but then stopped. He is now unable to walk at all. He won't put any weight on his feet or legs (he tries to pull them up into the air when the aides try to get him to stand). He tries to scoot in the geri chair by shifting his weight, instead of using his feet at all anymore. DH doesn't appear to be in any pain. He gets some physical therapy to try to get him to use his legs, but he won't.
He also won't feed himself. He would put his hands into the mashed potatoes, for example, and then just mess around with them. He usually has a good appetite when he's fed. Sometimes if you give him a cookie he'll put it in his mouth. He blows his nose into his hands. He won't look at a tv. Sometimes he will watch other people, and other times he's in his own world. He still has flashes of anger where he'll shout out and shake his chair.
Since he's in the geri-chair, it appears that the NH has cut back on his medications. He's not as groggy or disoriented anymore. He smiles more now. Sometimes he says a few words that actually have some meaning. He still seems to recognize us a little, and gets upset when we leave. Occasionally he will have a facial expression (like a raised eyebrow when another patient screams, or a smile at an aide) that shows flashes of his old personality. His teeth are in awful shape after 2-years of NH care, but are not giving him any pain.
He's entering his later 60s now and is in good health. Our family chose not to get him a flu shot.
I've been the first to write that evey patient is different. Still, I wonder what is going to happen this year. Will he go from geri-chair to being bedridden? What happens next? Are we likely to be looking at year 4 in the nursing home, and then year 5 and year 6? My heart is breaking for him.
Last edited by Beginning; 01-09-2012 at 11:00 AM.