My father-in-law has been moved to a short-term rehab facility. I'm a little amazed that there is talk of sending him home at the end of this stint, as I'm not convinced that's an entirely appropriate solution. He can't even get out of bed without falling (as he has demonstrated repeatedly, and as recently as yesterday). However, the death panels known as the insurance companies most likely will refuse to pay for inpatient treatment any longer than they absolutely must, so the next step is probably going to be getting a hospital bed in the house and arranging for 24-hour attendant coverage (instead of the daytime-only coverage they have now). I have emailed my sister-in-law, asking what Mark and I can do to help make these things go more smoothly. We live an hour away, so we can't do things that require an immediate presence at the house, but surely we can do SOMEthing to shoulder our share of the duties here. It's not like we live in another time zone, for goodness sakes. I just want to make sure that when we do something, it's going to be an action that is both wanted and needed, rather than some well-meant but unnecessary gesture.
Looking at the (marginally, at best!) bright side, though, Mark has told me repeatedly that his dad wants to die at home, not in the hospital. So I suppose sending him home, rather than keeping him as an inpatient, will increase the odds that his wishes will be met. I hate to think about that aspect of this situation, but we do have to consider the larger picture. The combination of three hospitalizations, pneumonia, and two rehab stints since the first week of July is not an indicator of robust health in a nonagenarian. Anyone who is not in rampant denial can see what direction this situation is going. :-( We are just going to have to keep track of his health situation and seek treatment accordingly if new symptoms appear. And maybe he CAN stay at home, instead of be hospitalized, if the right level of support is in place.