A Big Transition for Joe and Sarah [10-24-13]



When Sarah and I moved into Epworth Villa Retirement Center in Oklahoma City in late April of 2012, we did so because we knew it offered a range of substantial and medically competent care options. We moved into a cottage, choosing the independent living option requiring minimal care arrangements. In November Sarah was diagnosed as having Progressive Supranuclear Palsy [PSP] and has gradually been receiving increasing care—physical, speech, occupational therapies—in our cottage.

But PSP is progressive and yields to no known cures. Falls, many of them severe and painful, have gotten worse and more often. As some of you know, Sarah is a determined fighter. But we both were reaching that point in which I and the limited number of other health workers could no longer provide adequate care in our cottage. This past week was especially severe, her falls increased and my back could no longer sustain lifting Sarah from her falls, and her gastroenterologist became alarmed by her difficulties in swallowing—all threatening symptoms for persons with PSP.

A couple of weeks ago her physical therapists had already suggested to Sarah and to me that we should consider “assisted living” arrangements for her here at EV. But when we explored that further, EV health folk pointed out that Sarah’s physical condition was too frail and limited to allow her to use this option. Hence, we were advised to pursue long term nursing care. Reluctantly and with much anguish but hope, on Friday, October 18th, Sarah moved into a private room in the long term nursing care wing of EV.

She will be under constant nursing care and oversight with three meals a day provided and her medications regularly administered. But she is not bedfast. Yet she cannot move around without her walker and when she needs to go further, she now has a transport chair in which she can sit and be pushed along. She is not, however, completely confined to the nursing wing, and I can pick her up and bring her to the cottage or go to church or to other appointments. Last Saturday we watched football in our cottage all afternoon.

As some of you already know, Sarah does not do Internet. It is best if you send notes to her to my email address and I can print them for her to read. Or you can mail them to our cottage address: 14901 N. Penn Ave, #15A, OKC, OK 73134

This is not an easy adjustment for either of us. Prayers are always welcomed!



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Reader Responses

Nanci Moll

responded on 10/25/13

Joe, I have been concerned about Sarah since I heard of her move. My prayers are with you both as you manage this change in your lives.  Shalom.  Nanci


responded on 10/25/13

Holding you both in my heart.

Tony Ciccariello

responded on 10/25/13

I am sorry to hear about your wife Sarah, but she seems to be in a place where she is getting good care. Life goes on and love is the lubricant that soothes life. Be well.
Tony Ciccariello

Jean Scott Gauldin

responded on 10/25/13

I hold you both in my prayers and support your decision. I know it is a change, but I know you both can do this together. Thank you for sharing this news with us.

David Poe

responded on 10/25/13

I will keep you, Sarah, and your family in my prayers.

Bob & Lois Weitzeil

responded on 10/26/13

Joe, we are sad for you and for Sarah.  Our hearts go out to you and we will keep you both in our daily prayers.  May God continue to bless you both as you have blessed us.  Love, Bob & Lois