Vacation--all went well...

ginnierFebruary 21, 2006

Hubby and I went on a week cruise while my elderly folks went into an independent living facility for 10 days. There were things that hot water on the first day...oops, I guess we don't have a telephone for them like we thought, and then the real kicker...nope, Mom can't smoke in her room afterall, it didn't click that she'd have oxygen at night and the two don't mix well!! It worked out okay, I don't think they got out and mingled like I had originally thought they would. Mom still plays bridge and could've found a game going if she had wanted to. She just didn't want to hobble down there and see others with if SHE is so young and agile (see my tongue in my cheek????). At least now my folks are making noises like maybe that's where they should move; it might be a good thing. So I wonder how much assistance should a place have...? My folks are 83 and 85, sorta feeble (Dad, mentally and Mom, physically). This facility has a health care service available for anything they might need. What should I be asking about? Have any of you gone this route instead of straight to nursing home???

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We have gone this route with my father, who is currently in an independent living facility. So far, itÂs worked well for us. He doesnÂt need actual nursing care, but does need someone to make sure he takes his medicine, do his laundry and prepare his meals. He has AlzheimerÂs, and is rapidly reaching the point where heÂll have to move to the dementia ward there.

Your parents just spent some time at the facility and seemed to like it, which is certainly promising. If you can, you should spend time there, too. Volunteer, take you parents to visit. See how active and engaged the residents are. See how the staff interacts with the residents. Get a copy of the price list for all services. Talk to the people who live there and their families.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 11:09AM
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Scotland is so right... you need to start asking every question, and investigating every facility within reasonable distance to you. Just because someone is old, and has either mental or physical weaknesses, does NOT mean that the next step is a nursing home.

I wish that we, as a culture, could start appreciating the whole picture. Life is a progression and needs to be seen as such. I think this sounds like a very good introduction for your parents to an independant/assisted living facility. You do need to talk to as many people as possible. Ask what happens if type of questions. Imagine that your Mother has a bad fall, or Dad has increasingly bad cognitive problems. WHat happens then? How would this facility help if either had major surgery and was dismissed to go back home, i.e. not into a rehab or nursing facility? The staff should be good at helping you gather info, and don't be afraid to wander the halways and start a firendly chat with people you meet. I found that a simple walk down that hall at Mother's place would take me far longer than I expected because if I met anyone, they wanted to talk usually. Try to talk to the children of the residents if possible. Talk talk talk. You'll learn a lot.

I think it's great that they are actively considering this move. Grab onto that, encourage it, and yes, ask quesions. of everyone.

No one goes straight into a nursing home without traumatic health problems or seriously bad AD or other mental frailties. Life is a progression.

If by moving them into an apartment in this place means that you can encourage them to de-clutter their home, to gift some items, to pare down a little... that's another good aspect. I had to clear out Mother's apartment after she passed away, and I was so relieved to know that she had cleaned out so much after several moves. This is an opportunity for your parents to get their estate in order, too. It may or may not be a great large estate, but it still needs to be evaluated by their attorney, wills and trusts and advanced directives all re-examined.

Keep going along this road---this is very very positive.

Now that Mother is gone, a part of my mourning is missing all the people who were her neighbors. So tomorrow, I'm taking one of Mother's old friends out to lunch and a movie. (Her choice of movie---Brokeback Mountain, and she's a retired nun! This should lead to interesting discussions. But she's one of the most with-it people I've ever known, so it should be good.)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 1:17AM
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Hi and welcome back! Do you feel rested and did you have fun? Things are so different here in Canada, here our "homes for the aged" are city run, weird isn't it and so different, they have a doctor on site, and rn's and rpns, and i guess everything is written down in black and white, so i guess what i am trying to say is you have no choice in where you are moving too and you don't have to worry about a loved one being abused or anything, which is a wonderful thing. here is one interesting thing, which your mom wouldn't like though, our city has a whole smoking ban, no smoking in restaurants, public buildings, hospitals, schools, nursing homes ,bars etc. so alot of restuarants and bars have closed their doors, also you are not allowed to smoke on the grounds of these places! anyways, glad to have you back, tell us more about the cruise! there's still a ton of snow here! debbie

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 11:10AM
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The cruise was great!! We did Carnival Valor to the W. Caribbean, docked at Grand Cayman, Belize, Isle Roatan and Costa Maya. It was a marriage enrichment deal thru our church and 60 other couples went too! Such a different world being on a huge ship like that. It takes awhile to get your bearings, know which restaurants are available when and just how to arrange the island excursions in time to GO to them. We did a cave tubing excursion in Belize which was fantastic and really unique...including a long bus ride into the interior with a wonderful guide telling us all about his country and their ways. In Costa Maya we did a catamaran trip out to snorkel at the reefs. Mom and Dad got along fairly wasn't home, of course. They were very glad to get back in their own home. I had hoped Mom would play bridge and maybe Dad would do some things with other folks, but I don't think they ventured out of their room other than for their meals. Oh well.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2006 at 10:39PM
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