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What To Do With Elderly SCIers

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    What To Do With Elderly SCIers

    I am an 83 year-old T-6 SCI Ischemic wheeler. My principal caregiver, my bride of 60 years has her own health issues that are progressively worsening. Now receiving SCI and general health care from VA spinal cord injury center, However, not service connected for SCI, thus not eligible for long time in-home care. Presently we have an agency CNA thrice weekly who relieves wife from the most rigorous chores—bathing, dressing and light housekeeping. We pay $23 per hour, totaling nine hours per week. My question, issue is what to do as both of us require more care? Of course we want to remain in our two bedroom condo that is wheelchair friendly. The would require more than doubling care from the agency costing $650 a week. Granted this is less than most nursing homes, but our current cost of living at home must be taken into the financial equations. What are others in similar situations doing? My wife has long term care insurance, but not me. Personally I am taking my head in the sand approach, that is not what I normally do. Growing old with SCI does not seem very good. However, it’s the future for most os us. This topic is worthy of discussion. What say you?
    You C.A.N.
    Conquer Adversity Now

    #2
    good topic i am quad c6c7 70 this year great health single we have talked about convering mezzamine in to a private space for someone to have while exchange for care. my sis and brother live across canal 10 minutes tops. y son and i hae talked about a tiny house behind their place in ohio if i ever get home bound. its a scarey thought but i have friend my age ablebodied and they have same concerns

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      #3
      If you have military service and if your net worth is below a certain amount (can't recall) you are eligible for some generous help from VA I believe both for in home care and assisted living places. Contact your VA service officer and inquire. Good luck.

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        #4
        Wazabiker,
        I was a biker, too, but it seems like another life. I am sorry to hear about your wife.

        For me personally I have an end my life plan that I ought to be able to activate should I lose my eyesight (AMD) or lose my independence. Whenever I lose my ability to move and exercise my pain level escalates. If that were a permanent future...

        3 years ago I had a roll-in shower put in. I was surprised how much more eager I was to stay clean!

        My mate is also in danger of losing his independence, for several reasons. We are extremely fortunate to have ample savings, mine by inheritance. I, or we, can afford to pay for help in-home for years. My mate has adult children who might step in- I don't know. They are far away. I have none.

        I am aware that we often do not have the opportunity to chose how we end things. Stuff happens unexpectedly. I have my bright pink health directive taped in the entryway, and that is as far as my control goes. In these times I updated it to say clearly "No Intubation".

        it is heartbreaking and confusing that eldercare is not universally available, nor remotely rational, but thus it has always been for humans. It is a blessing for you just knowing your son is willing to help, and I hope the pledge is as much as he will have to do, for both of your sakes. My family has been through long care years with both my folks, each of whom died in their 90s. After my SCI in 2008 all the work fell on my sister's shoulders for 12 years, and by personality she is not fond of personal care. I am, which turned out so unfair. Even at 70 I occasionally return to wishing life were fair, haha.

        We cope as best we may, and usually the end is unpleasant. Returning my awareness to the spiritual side of life is ever my best option. "Head in the sand" is always a good tool!

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          #5
          We had a friend (C/4 complete) in Los Angeles who lived close to a major medical center and teaching facility. He and his wife turned the second floor of their home into a dormitory style apartment to house three people. He had 24/7 care with three shifts, staffed by pre-med, nursing and physical/occupational therapy students who could adapt their schedules. It worked quite well for them, especially after his wife died in a car accident. Everything was in place. Pre-planning is key.

          GJ and I thought about this very often before his untimely passing. One option for us was the idea of a guest house behind our house. We had plans drawn and siting work done on our property. Many communities have limitations in size for these "granny flats." In our area that is about 800 square feet. Between the indoor space and a well planned outdoor living space, it would have lived like more like 1100-1200 square feet.

          Not many of the senior living facilities will take someone with the pre-exiting condition of spinal cord injury, even though in many cases SCI care is not as involved as, let's say, memory care.

          NL

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            #6
            Have looked online at local assisted living options. Not sure they welcome SCIers. Should make inquiries. The VA is my go to for spinal cord and general health care. Most excellent for me. No costs, great care. However, I may be over the limit for long term VA care due to financial situation and injury not service related. I assume our institutional care would be more expensive than memory care, as we require more hands on attention. Aging with SCI can be a quandary.

            You C.A.N.
            Conquer Adversity Now

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