Hoarding Woe: Privacy Out the Window

Well, I headed up to the hospital yesterday morning to visit my aunt and listen to what the doc had to say. I got there at 0900 on a Sunday morning. The doc had already been there and gone, has had home care management and the people arranging for walkers, commodes etc. All there and gone by 0900. I never did get in touch with them again.

My aunt was being discharged. The assigned nurse said she could walk with the walker, just don’t put any wait on her foot beneath the damaged knee. Hmmm? And, so it was. A few hours later, I wedged my aunt into the car amidst loud protestations and pain. I was headed home with a 93 y/o woman, who I intuitively knew should not be headed home and that I was not prepared to care for.

We arrived to her home. My son met me and with no walker yet delivered we extricated her from the car. It was horribly difficult for her and an indication of the day/night to follow. We got her into a patio chair and carried her into the house and to the couch. There were clear signs she was not able to stand or use her arms with any degree of strength required to use a walker. What the hell were they thinking? Why the rush to discharge and lack of followup to my phone calls for a briefing?

It was a long ordeal for her and subsequently for me yesterday. The meds stupefied her and took some pain away. But, she lacked the strength to stand to one foot while favoring the damaged leg. The ability to get to the bathroom was zero. The ability to stand and take one step was zero. The need to pee was real. In the end, pride, privacy and the aunt/nephew relationship took a hit as my aunt was placed into that embarrassing position of I either pee in front of my nephew who is holding me up and in position to pee or I will need help changing. It was handled and it was evident this cannot continue.

The physical therapist is coming to the home. The living room was cleared away from the couch. The moving of the command post coffee table away from the couch to make room was psychologically unsettling to my aunt. It provided a comfortable barrier. 

The injury is a serious blow. The ability to clean is a gift, but already we are exhausted and in the hole. Home care around the clock is tiring but no one can come into the home given the condition and my aunt trusting only a very few (4) people to ever come into her home. I hesitate to move her willy nilly given how delicate she is.

In the meantime, the mess I tackled on the driveway will be on hold. 75% torn through. A large pile of garbage remains. The priority is best transferred inside, especially if my aunt can remain and mend. 


2 thoughts on “Hoarding Woe: Privacy Out the Window

  1. Mary

    Good grief – what was the hospital staff thinking? Usually they are much more careful with elderly patients than what you are describing. I agree that you are probably not going to be able to care for her – it will be a 24 hour a day job and will be exhausting. Will you even have the strength to do some of the reorganizing that will need to be done in order to keep her at home? I read your blog daily and have said a few prayers for both you and your aunt. It is an extremely difficult situation for you both. Hang in there, and please keep posting for those of us who are following your story.

    1. SwittersB

      Mary thank you for your kind words and visits. We will make the necessary adjustments. I also won’t let things progress too far out of control before I make a hard decision to provide care elsewhere. I have discussed this with her. But her short term memory loss does make it important to repeat often. Fortunately, my aunt is a highly organized hoarder who always wanted to get ready for the next sale to turn a profit….however when my mom, her partner in crime, turned ill with cancer the whole money making process came to a halt even if the accumulation did not.

      Anyway,,you are very kind to comment. I write this more for my own sanity and a release for all the guilt and sadness I felt over not dealing with my mom’s hoarding mess.

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