Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What a difference a day (or a few) can make!

With Dad's physical and emotional health taking a serious hit lately I began to fear what would happen to Mom should something devestating happen to Dad. Actually, this has been in the back of my mind all along as you've probably read in prior posts. There was really NO long-term care set up for Mom, especially if Dad died or became debilitated before Mom.

I have had discussions with Dad over the past few months about pros and cons of Mom being permanently admitted to the nursing home. Turns out there were far more PROS than CONS. Here is the list I sent to Dad in an email following up our discussion...

Hi Dad,

Here is a list of things to consider for your current living arrangements. I've sent this to you once before. This is in consideration of Mom's benefit as well as yours. After the last few weeks I really believe the time has come to have a definite plan in place. If something were to happen to you then there is nowhere for Mom to go so this needs to be taken care of. We also need to work on funeral arrangements and money for that, as hard as that is to talk about.

If Mom were to go into ECH permanently now or later....

1. She will be SAFE, less chance for falling like at home.
2. Her meds will be given ON TIME daily.
3. There is some sort of medical personel on staff at all times.
4. proper physical and oral hygiene daily.
5. proper nutrition daily.
6. social and therapeutic activities daily. Right now all she does is sit around the house doing nothing.
7. she will, more than likely, have more visitation from friends and family than she does at home.
8. round the clock care. She doesn't receive this now.
9. and remember....no matter where Mom is she says she wants to go home so please don't base your decisions on her saying this.

For your benefit, Dad...

1. You will no longer have to worry about Mom's medications. They will be monitored by the medical staff at ECH and Mom's doctors.
2. so much less worry for you knowing that Mom is always safe.
3. you will have so much more freedom and can LIVE again.
4. more time for golf with your friends, movies and meals with your daughters and grandchildren.
5. time for volunteer work.
6. better sleep (and this will help with your depression).
7. you can spend time with Mom anytime you want and as long as you want.
8. Your physical and mental health will become better because you will have so much less stress.
9. Your friends will begin calling and inviting you again. They stopped because Mom can no longer do all of the things that you once used to do together.

Dad, in my opinion...you cannot afford to not seriously consider having Mom admitted permanently the next time she goes into the hospital. I honestly believe that both of your lives depend on it. You are both withering away with the way things are going now. I can hardly stand to see you living like this and being so depressed.

Please call your neighbor Pete whom you met at the meeting last week and set up lunch with him. I think having a friend like him will help you. He is going through the same things you are so he knows how you are feeling...confide in him. Let him help you too.

Also, Camille and I cannot both keep dropping everything we are doing at a moments notice. There MUST be a plan. We want to help you but you have to be willing to help us help you. I feel like you want the two of us to do everything and we can't. We need you! I love you Dad. Please help us. Anne

Today my sister and I went with Dad to the nursing home to meet with the Head of Memory Care and with ECH Pastor to find out what options there were regarding long-term care for Mom. The meeting went surprisingly well and Dad even admitted to me that he was excited about all of this. He now knows what will need to be done, what steps need to be taken, and now the appointments are being made for the hoops that we'll need to jump through to get Mom where she needs to be. After all that, Dad can begin to mend as well. I think I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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