Life Decisions | Long Term Care

As many of you know, my Dad has been ill the past week or so. It’s actually been going on much longer than this. He has a shunt in his brain that drains excess fluid to his stomach. It’s been acting up for probably six months or longer but it peaked this past weekend and I insisted he visit the ER. It was Monday morning and he couldn’t remember anything after Friday afternoon at work. After a transfer, a night and day of waiting and a revision surgery he came home with me on Wednesday. Seriously, not even 12 hours after he woke up from brain surgery my Dad was sitting in my living room.

We had almost 2 days of worry and wonder once he was home with me… was he going to bounce right back, regain his vision (he was seeing double), regain his memory (still working on that) and start functioning on a more normal platform? We started thinking about long term. What if he couldn’t live alone anymore? He functions and img_storage_units_320x365takes care of himself just fine, but his memory makes living alone a little dangerous. I found his George Foreman grill on with a piece of black bread in it two days after taking him to the hospital. That’s some scary stuff!

Just this morning I was visiting my Dad at his condo and his memory had me worrying again. Places like Uncle Bob’s Self Storage might be on our radar sooner than we know. Not knowing if he will eventually be fine, I would need a place to store his condo full of furniture. If he would have to move in with us for safety reasons I will definitely be researching storage centers nearby because our house is already stuffed to the gills with six people. He is so young and moving him into a nursing home or assisted living facility just makes me physically ill. To be honest, I really thought situations and thoughts like this would be happening much further in my future.

Have you been in a situation like this… having to make life decisions for your parents?

 

This post brought to you by Uncle Bob’s Self Storage.

Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Heather,
    I think we are in the same boat, but for different reasons. My dad has stage IV colon cancer. He had a surgery in October and developed complications and for a while there, it was very nerve-wracking. To make things more interesting, my grandfather lives with him as well and just fought off throat cancer. Dad’s chemo is working for the time being, but I do also worry about what we will do when he is unable to care for Granddad and then himself.
    Guess it’s a good thing to have siblings and friends to help out in times like these. Hope your dad recovers quickly. Take care!

  2. desiree says:

    yes my family did i should say my sister and i did with my dad he would say mom
    would come and tell him to go home and that mean she was wanting him with her
    he passed in oct of cancer and then my sister said he was walking around the
    house holding his arm he died 6 day before his 81 bd

  3. That is such a hard thing to go through. My parents are getting older too and it’s getting harder. Strange how we will have to make decisions about our parents. Good luck and best wishes!

  4. sandy w says:

    you dont mention the age of your father. i was the caregiver of my mother for over 10yrs, i had to move back to nc, give up my job, friends, etc. my 3 older siblings had been abusing her mentally and taken a whole lot of her money, talked into gifting the house to the oldest son, etc. i was poa, hcpoa, etc. my father had died in 81. i helped take care of him as well, funny though, my parents never treated me as well or gave me as much as my older siblings and i was the one left to take care of them both. my siblings sue my mother and i over 5 times in the past 11 yrs, trying to get her declared imcompetent and get control of her money again. my older brother has tried to kill me a few times. he just finished sueing me again, currently waiting for a new lawsuit to appear. unfortunately, my parents did not safeguard themselves or me from my siblings. they just were ignorant or blind to their actions. i certainly hope that your father has put everything he wants in writing and has an iron clad will/trust. if he has more than the usual assets, a trust is better, no probate. i hope that you have a better realationship w/ your siblings. however, when it comes to money and possessions, you never know how people will react so is it better to have everything in writing. as for assisted living facilities, etc. please do visit them unannounced and more than once at different times. check w/ the state to see if they have had any problems, etc. the state and/or federal govt. lists all of the nursing homes/assisted living facilities and gives them ratings. i am not familiar w/ your area so i do not know the cost of the ones in your area. in nc, they run anywhere from 5/6k to 8/9k /mo. nursing homes more. then you have the meds, healthcare supplies on top of that. my mother lived w/ me on and off for several yrs. depending upon his health, and you it can be very trying, and wearing. i handled everything for my mother, i mean everything, from bathing, cleaning her up, meds, meals, drs., finances, bills, driving, etc. it is a 24/7 job. i aged a lot, took a great toll on my health. long term health is very, very expensive and if he has any health problems he will not be able to get it now. also i am not sure it is the best thing at the moment b/c lth fees have gone up a lot, i mean a lot lately. they found out they were under billing people, people are living longer, so a lot are in trouble. if you do go w/ one, make sure they are sound, get financial ratings on them. you may be able to get one thru your schools, college, insurance, financial acts. but beware, they are not cheap right now. look at clark howard’s list on his website. he has good articles and viewpts abt them. another option is an independent living facility, which are a lot less expensive. however, if he needs medical help or a caregiver to help w/ bathing, meds, etc. it is a lot less expensive than a assisted living facililty to hire independent cna’s to come in at different times of the day to help him if he does not need round the clock care/help. all (independent facilities- some are called continuing care which you go in as independent living and as you need more help they advance you to assisted living-nursing) provide meals, snacks, call buttons in rooms, etc. the continuing care facilies may be ones that you buy into, or just go in…..the buy in’s can be very, very $$$, by this i mean, $500k or more to buy in….and you still have monthly fees on top of this….you can get help w/ an ombudsman or your local/state govt for help as to what you may need. medicare does not pay for any of these facilities. medicare only pays a specific amt when you come out of the hospital, for a limited time, may pay for a cna/aid to come to house to help care for your father for a few hrs a few times a wk. another option is that some colleges have programs where they assess your father, do a complete workup as to what he needs, as far as meds, healthcare, etc. this is paid by his insurance if he gets primary care dr. to send referral. i know that duke and unc have one. i took my mother, it was very helpful. there may be a senior resource center in your area that can give you direcions. my mother has been gone 2 yrs and i am still dealing w/ the trust, lawsuits, etc. i dont think it will ever end. i gave up over 11 yrs of my life for a 24/7 job which paid nothing. it can be financially hard on you. i have to take early retirement, give up half of my benefits, pension, etc. and now i am struggling. since i have been out of the workforce for over 10yrs, even though i have advanced degrees, at my age, i would have a hard time getting something better than paying min. wage. do your homework, get expert advice, make sure all legal papers are in place, poa, hcpoa, who gets what, put everything in writing, get atty/get notorized, etc. also some of the health problems, as far as memory, or others, etc. can be caused by medications, lack of certain vitamins, etc. some statins, can cause memory problems, etc. you need to research all of his meds, vitamins, etc. get an elder care dr. if he has memory problems, it may not be alz. but a specific form of dementia. too many people and dr. all group memory problems as alz. and it is not. my mother had short term memory problems due to a mini stroke that no one knew she had, only way to find out is thru test, mri, etc. the drs. had it down as alz./dementia, it was not. if you do move into a facility, you will have to know that you will be there daily, to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do, not stealing, not using his meds on other people, feeding him the correct diet, doing his laundry, etc. you have to be proactive. do not show up at the facility the same time, show up at different times so they will not know when to expect you. i can go on and on…..good luck. as far as his belongings, try to sell them off now, take to auction, b/c he will not sue them again…my house is still full of things even today, and i have a very large storage facility that is filled w/ things b/c my mother wanted to keep everything….even w/ what my siblings stole, and the things that she left me, which they stole….you never think it will happen to you….what you read and hear about. however, it can, even the many attys i have a had over the yrs. said my siblings were some of the worst they had heard abt. even in the hospitals today you have to be proactive….and go and stay to make sure things are getting done, and the drs. are doing what they are supposed to be doing….the rns do not care if they eat, dont feed them if they cant feed themselves, dont give baths everyday like they are supposed to, etc. if you father is not assertive or coherent, it will be up to you to be the “B” to make sure everything is getting done accordingly.

  5. Jessica says:

    Life can really throw you some curve balls. My brother, sister and I found ourselves in a situation 5 years ago with our Dad and having to make some very, very tough decisions. It’s so hard to watch their independence slip away but just do what’s in your gut…99% of the time your instincts are right. Good luck and hope you’re Dad feels better as each day passes.

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