I am an only child, adopted by my parents when I was an infant. I am also the only living heir to my parents’ modest estate, their home in Dedham, Massachusetts. I was living in Indiana when my Mom asked me to please come home. Both of my parents needed help and in November, 2012, I moved back home.
Moving back home was bittersweet; my childhood home held many pleasant and some unpleasant memories. My parents needed help. The house needed some heavy cleaning and a number of repairs. Mom wanted to pay down their debts and make provisions for home care for herself and my Dad in the event it ever became necessary.
One night in February I awoke to the dogs barking and my father yelling for help. I ran to my father and found him in the bathroom with my mother. She had hit her head on something and was bleeding, but still conscious. I immediately called 911. The ambulance arrived and asked me if there was a preferred hospital; I immediately told them Beth Israel in Needham, MA. However, they took her instead to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in downtown Boston.
While the paramedics were there, one of them told me that because of the condition of the house, he had to report it to the Board of Health. While it was not in the best condition, the problem was the clutter, which I had been working on since I got home. I was only worried about my Mom at that moment and told him to just do what he had to do.
Once we got to the hospital, the doctor told us that Mom had taken a nasty fall and needed a few stitches. He wanted to keep her there for a few days for observation. He also mentioned that she might be suffering from dementia, but that it could be temporary because of the blood on her brain which was a result of the injury to the top of her head.
A few days later, Dr. Caliath called me and advised me that I needed to convince my mother to go to a rehab in order to get physical therapy to regain her strength. Because I was concerned about the injury to her head, I agreed that this might be the best move for her. After much discussion and arguments from my mother as to why she did not need to go to a rehab, she finally agreed.
March 1, 2013 started off like any other day. My Dad and I got up, had breakfast, took care of the dogs and got ready to go visit my mother at the nursing home. The visit went well. For some reason Mom was getting speech therapy, which she did not need, as well as physical therapy. My Dad visited her daily and together they walked around the premises which gave her a fair amount of daily exercise. Before we left, I stopped at the nurses’ station to find out when Mom would be going home but as usual, I was unable to get an answer.
A caseworker from Adult Protective Services, Tara Lemieux and the social worker Kaohna approached me and said we needed to have a meeting. My Dad and I went with her to her office. Once we were all seated, she proceeded to tell me that Mom was not going home and they were going to apply for Medicaid for her continued care. I was in tears and proceeded to tell her that everything was being done at home to provide for her care. My father then spoke up and said “I just want my wife home.” Tara said to my father “You, sir, cannot make decisions for yourself.”
Full Profile and Source:
NASGA - Mary and Francis Leuschner, Massachusetts Victims