• Olympia

    Miami, FL

     

    Olympia and Oscar just want to be together, and live out their lives peacefully, with their pets nearby in the safety and security of their own home. After a lifetime of hard work, without enough home health care they will be unable to do so.

  • After a lifetime of hard work following their exile from Communist Cuba, Olympia and Oscar Morales, both in their 80’s, are desperate to stay in their own home as they struggle with serious health issues that have confined them to wheelchairs.
     
    After more than 50 years of marriage, they don’t want to be sent to a nursing home. They fear being separated. They fear contracting COVID-19 in an institution. To stay safe at home, however, they need assistance with daily living and nursing care.
     
    As they aged, the couple helped each other through various illnesses. Oscar, 83, who is diabetic and has mild dementia, served as the primary caretaker for his wife, Olympia, age 85, who suffers from asthma and COPD. She needs an inhaler and is dependent on oxygen to help her breathe. She is now also living with cancer and dependent on others to give her medications, and assist with daily activities and to serve meals.

    ”My parents really need full-time care at this point,” he said. “They are both weak and in wheelchairs. My father is mostly bed-ridden and my mother often has trouble breathing and can only take a few steps without experiencing

    severe pain and breathlessness.”

  • Until recently, Oscar did the household grocery shopping and even made simple meals, lovingly serving the afternoon cafecito. They got by with a home health aide provided through Oympia’s Medicaid long-term managed care plan who visited the home a few hours a day. In February, however, Oscar was hospitalized with pneumonia and diagnosed with mesothelioma, a lung cancer contracted from exposure to asbestos in the shipyards where he once worked. Due to his age and advanced state of illness, he is very weak, and no longer able to care for his wife.
     
    Their son, Oscar Morales, Jr., who has provided major financial support for his parents in their retirement, had to leave his job in Mexico to try to help his parents navigate the healthcare system. Oscar has found himself bounced around and utterly confused by the system. But he could only manage to get two more hours of care, an increase from four hours per day to six hours per day.

     

    ”My parents really need full-time care at this point,” he said. “They are both weak and in wheelchairs. My father is mostly bed-ridden and my mother often has trouble breathing and can only take a few steps without experiencing severe pain and breathlessness.”
     
    The son has sought help from both local and state agencies in an effort to get more care. Oscar describes his frustration: “Phones are not answered and messages not returned for days or not at all.”
     
    Oscar fears his parents will need to be hospitalized or put in a nursing home. “This is a terrible fate any time, but it is now unthinkable with the deadly coronavirus in the community.”
     
    Olympia and Oscar just want to be together, and live out their lives peacefully, with their pets nearby in the safety and security of their own home. After a lifetime of hard work, without enough home health care they will be unable to do so.

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