My 38-year-old daughter-in-law, Mary, was in a snowmobile accident in Wyoming approximately 10 years ago. This caused significant brain injury, requiring ongoing care. Mary is wheelchair bound; wears neck and leg braces and needs to be rotated frequently. She needs lots of assistance to be moved or lifted. She is unable to speak and has poor short-term memory; however, she can communicate with me on paper. She understands her situation and has good long-term memory. As for her long-term prognosis, Mary is relatively healthy.
Mary was moved to Colorado in 2004 to a local nursing facility. I visited her about twice a year and then transferred here in 2008. After years of micromanaging the care that she did or did not get, I moved her to another facility. I believe that she would benefit from more stimulation, more activities. She receives weekly visits from someone who reads out loud to her. Beyond that, she is often placed in front of the television, which she seems to enjoy. However, she has started pinching her aides when they assist her. When I remind that this is not ok, she agrees, but this behavior has continued.
I commute daily to Denver for work and then visit Mary every evening. Since I am relatively new to Colorado and work in Denver, I have had little time for social contact. My time is spent attending to Mary or shopping for her needs. She has very little communication with her family in New York. My son has moved on, remarried and has children. The primary responsibility for her well-being rests with me.