13 December 2010
The Search Has Begun
Standing still sucks. It leaves the stander feeling like their feet have grown roots, rendering all movement to become motionless. The problem with standing still is that nothing ever gets done!
We think about what needs doing, over and over again. My dad often reminded me when I was growing up that when you think about doing something instead of doing it, you do the task every time you think of it. Eventually, you do force yourself to do laundry, clean out a cluttered room or follow up on paperwork; it's drudgery. You feel a sense of dejavu, have I done this already you ask yourself silently?
"Yes!" You hear a voice well up from deep inside with flashes of all those times you thought about doing one of your tasks. In my case, I also hear my dad's voice telling me that if I just did it the first time I thought about it, I'd be well down the road by now.
Looking for a home to place my mom has become one of those tasks for me. I have researched nursing homes online, none looking very good because of the published ratings. Fear set in and my feet grew roots... I couldn't do anything with regard to finding a home for my mom.
My mom continues to decline and I need to use my time more wisely; I need to be prepared for the moment that she needs to go to a facility.
The bed opened up in New Hampshire in the home where Uncle Al is living. But, Uncle Al is now in a hospice state of being; no way for my mom to spend her remaining days, watching her brother die. I was back to the drawing board, looking for a place closer to my home.
Last week, a flyer came in the mail from a new Assisted Living / Nursing Facility in our area. The open house was yesterday. My husband and I decided to check it out once my mom's Companion had arrived for her 3 hour tour as my replacement. It's always great to see her smiling face coming through the front door. That's a post for another day...
We visited Brightview on Concord River in Bedford. It's a private pay facility. It's a home for the very wealthy with monthly costs starting at $5,000 + based on your particular needs. Someone like my mom, it would cost us $7,000 a month with cost rising as her condition deteriorates. Definitely out of our price range. Medicare is not honored ... we were definitely SOL with placing her in this home.
The facility is absolutely beautiful. Brian and I both wanted to move in now. The dining area was stunning, looked like a fine restaurant only with bright lights so that the residents could see. There was a bar too with a very nice lounge. Flat screen TV's hung on the wall with an actual wait staff, waiting on tables.
We had a little egg nog, spiked with some rum. I had mine topped with a bit of whipped cream and cinnamon. Delicious. We had a few cocktail shrimp and a little salad. The food looked and tasted very good. It was such a nice atmosphere. The residents appeared happy. Hell, I'd be happy too if there were a bar/lounge in my nursing home!
We saw where the wealthy folks go before they pass on to greener pastures. It's like they live in a 5 star hotel! It's costly. The only way to live in a place like this is to be very rich or plan ahead. Start when you are young... the younger the better. I'm now 50. It's time for me to make sure that I have a long term care insurance plan, one that will take care of me in a place that I CHOOSE.
I wouldn't want to leave my relatives to selecting my final living location; it isn't fair to them. It's really hard to find a place that matches the needs of the patient. In this case, my mom... I need to find a place that understands Lewy Bodies Dementia. The home we visited yesterday, of course they understand LBD and even have other LBD patients in the Memory Impaired portion of the facility.
We saw the Cadillac of Nursing Facilities yesterday. It was amazing. In contrast, I've seen the absolute pit of nursing homes and I've seen one that is decent but too far away.
Next weekend, we'll look at another nursing facility. My job this week is to find one that accepts my mom's insurance and call to schedule an appointment. I have found the place, now I need to publish this post and make the call to schedule a site visit.