Jimmy Johnson is in need of longterm care. JJ, as many know him, is my friend and stepfather. I've known him for 18 years and, for 13 of them, he was married to my mother, Jean. If you had the good fortune to hear them sing together, you know they had a special way of lighting up a room. If you knew them personally, you were blessed.
Long before he met my Mom, Jimmy was well-known in Nashville's music community. He played with many artists, including the Louvin Brothers, Leroy Van Dyke, Dottie West, Jeannie Seeley, Johnny Russell and Little Jimmy Dickens. His songs were recorded by Ray Charles, the Oak Ridge Boys, Tom Jones, Dottie West, Roy Clark, Ed Bruce and many others. He spent four years on the Grand Ole Opry.
He's 81 now, in poor health, and living on a fixed income. He needs help.
After Mom passed away a couple of years ago, I became his primary caregiver. For several years, he has been suffering from Aphasia, a condition caused by damage to the language center in his brain, making it very difficult for him to communicate. He also suffers from dementia, and his right side has been affected by a couple of strokes, making him unsteady on his feet. He walks with a cane, but will need a wheelchair soon. When he was first diagnosed in June of 2011, his doctor told us that he could no longer be left alone. For the last couple of years, with the assistance of my brother, Michael, I have been caring for him in our home. Unfortunately, his condition has continued to deteriorate and will worsen over time. Because he is now in need of greater care than I am capable of providing, I am working to find him a new home in a long term care facility that will see to his needs for the rest of his days.
As I write this, he is in a rehab facility, nearing the end of a 30-day stay, courtesy of his HMO. He has been getting physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy daily. At this point, he is still able to dress, bathe and feed himself, though with increasing difficulty. His doctor and his therapists agree that the best option for him, immediately following rehab, is an assisted-living facility, where he will get the help he needs while retaining a degree of independence, something he cherishes.
Because longterm care facilities are costly (an average of $2[phone redacted] per month for assisted living, in this area), and because he is on a fixed income, paying for this is a significant challenge. Knowing that he has many friends and family members who love him, I've set up this site to make it easy to help him.
I've set the goal at $30,000 because, at $2500/month, that will cover his care in a decent assisted-living facility for a year. Unfortunately, because his health is declining, the odds are very high that he will need to be in a nursing care facility by that time. However, when that point is reached, he will qualify for more state assistance.
Please let as many people as possible know about this site so we can make sure Jimmy's needs are taken care of for the rest of his years.
And please feel free to share any other ideas you may have to help take care of Jimmy in his old age. Thank you.
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