Home or rehab? Update on my dad

The latest on my dad is disappointing but not unexpected.

First, fixing the gash in his head required a plastic surgeon and more than thirty stitches. Dad doesn’t do anything half way!

Because of the trauma to his head, more tests were called for, like making sure his vertebrae were not damaged. Then – because he was hooked up and monitored so extensively – other issues were revealed. Additionally, the doctors were concerned about how much he is falling. More tests, several more examinations, more anecdotal records, more time.

In consequence, dad had to be admitted, which didn’t make him too happy.

By Saturday afternoon it was determined the next step should be rehab. The plan sounded reasonable to me. But not to dad. Dad just wanted to go home. The doctor came in, presented the facts, expressed some concerns, and made some recommendations. Dad cried.

Actually, he sobbed. That made mum cry. So she weakened her resolve and before I knew it they were saying no.

– mum singing hymns to dad

That’s why Sunday evening’s Facebook post read: “So dad’s come home from the hospital. This may or may not be a good thing – but it’s what they want.”

I am working on making next door more user friendly for someone who can barely shuffle across the room, even with a walker, someone who falls far too often, and who cannot care for himself. I am also lining up additional resources to approximate the care dad would have received in a rehab facility.

I don’t know 🤷 what the future will hold, and I don’t even know what this week is going to look like. But mum and dad are together, and that is what they want.

I guess I will have to take dad coming home as a “win”. But it doesn’t feel much like a win at all. It feels more like a lap under the caution flag.

Like I have said before, this is a huge high-wire balancing act between honoring my parents’ independence and fulfilling my responsibility to care for them honorably and properly.

It’s just that I feel like I am about to fall off – DEREK


  1. Oh Derek, my prayers to you and your family. I too know the angst (and blessing) of caring for a parent. There are wonderful in home services which I hope you will supplement your care with. The internal struggle is real, but know your parents right to self determination is worthy of honoring. One moment at at time friend. God will lighten the load and lead the way.


  2. When we care for our children we practice “tough love” where we make them do what we deem is right to keep them safe all while they are angry and resentful but we know we are doing the right thing (or we mostly believe we are). This situation is also one of “tough love” but it’s not the same. It is so very tough. Mike and I know, we have been there. Children, watching our parents make decisions we do not feel are right, for their health and safety, it’s so very tough. It seems as though they are “too close to the situation” to see what is happening. Surely if they were watching someone else they would suggest a different path, right? Certainly they would but that is not what is happening. I think what we watched and what you are watching (and participating in) is the ultimate in loyalty, (and it hurts) and living into and holding onto marital vows with determination the only way they know how (they are still teaching us, aren’t they, our parents). We have not walked in this path and while we can say what we would do in the situation- we honestly don’t know, because we are not there. How many times I insisted that I would NOT be a short order cook and bend to the culinary wishes of my children individually and yet, here I am “eating my words” (ha!) for reasons that may have seemed ridiculous before I was a parent, of a teenage girl, and a teenage boy…..right? I had no idea what direction that path would take and so, the path they are on and you are on along side, is leading them to a challenging decision tree. You are doing an extraordinary job. It is So.Hard. But, you are doing it right. One day, one decision at a time. And, no wrong decisions, just next decisions. We are here for you Derek, in this season of tough love! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Derek, All I can say is ‘thank you and we’re praying you will have the strength physically to do what is required and desired’.  Surely you will need some caring help! We all send our love and assurance of our prayers. That’s Ruth, Liz, Jonathan and Hannah. Love Dorothea and John Sent from Mail for Windows 10 From: Pilgrim in ProgressSent: 29 March 2021 12:53To: john.clements1939@gmail.comSubject: [New post] Home or rehab? Update on my dad derekmaul posted: " The latest on my dad is disappointing but not unexpected. First, fixing the gash in his head required a plastic surgeon and more than thirty stitches. Dad doesn’t do anything half way! Because of the trauma to his head, more tests were called "


  4. Derek,
    Thank you for sharing this very personal story of a life experience many of us have or will experience with our parents.
    YES it is a tight rope balancing what is best for your dad AND respecting his wishes to go home instead of rehab.
    Your dad wants to live his life on his own terms; something that we all want. As a loving son I’m sure you will do your best no matter what that is. Lots of prayers for you and your parents.

    Liked by 1 person

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