Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oh, where have I been??.. Alzheimer's Dementia..Awful Diseases!!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while! I am still trying very hard to get my mother settled in and it's been a very hard time trying to do so! She is doing okay, but having a lot of issues with medications and trying so hard to adjust to living in "assisted living". My mother has always been such a trooper and a fabulous woman, not to mention the best mom and it just breaks my heart to see her this way. I have been visiting her every weekend and watching her go downhill and it's so hard to see someone, especially your mother, just have everything taken away and even remember if she talked with me on that day! Things with Mimi's Rose have sort of taken a back seat and I apologize for this, but as I am sure everyone will agree...first things first.

I want to share a few things with all of you and hopefully make everyone aware of how important it is to ensure you have POA (Power of Attorney) if your father has passed or your mother! You are NOT able to do anything without this, thanks to the stinky HIPA laws, because you don't even have any rights to help them if you don't! Imagine that, your mother gave birth to you and you don't have any rights, unless you have the so many necessary papers to say you are even their child!! How can that be? I had to do many things to ensure my mother is well taken care, happy and provided for during the rest of her life. So talk with your parent(s), watch them and make sure you see the signs of Alzheimer's or Dementia, don't ignore them and simply think they are just having a "senior moment" as many of us refer to them as! You can read all about Alzheimer's or Dementia and the symptoms here and also on the web, they have a wealth of great information available including what the symptoms of these awful diseases are and no, they are just not "senile", it's truly much worst than that! Also, don't ever think it can't or won't affect you or your family, or your mom, dad or anyone close to you, because it does! Maybe it's just something we don't want to think about and I didn't, but it happens, so plan and prepare for everything with respect to Alzheimer's and Dementia. There are many many organizations who will help you cope with watching your parents slip away and believe me, it's one of the hardiest things I have ever had to deal with in my life.

If your parent don't have long term health insurance, now is the time to really look at this because the cost of assisted living is astronomical, not to mention the cost of the medications they will need. Medicare does not pay for assisted living in the private sector, so don't count on that and quite honestly, you wouldn't want Medicare to help pay for this, because it's not assisted living, but a nursing home, which is run by the state and we all know what that can mean. So plan now for yourself and everyone you care about and love, because trying to deal with these terrible diseases and then coping with everything else is very stressful. Long term care is a fabulous option, though my mother didn't have it, she was a very smart lady and made sure she had enough money for any emergency, for which I am very thankful. The cost for this type of monthly care is huge, again, not to mention the cost of medications and everything else you have to do to make sure your parents are safe and hopefully happy, in their new surroundings!

The place my mom is at is absolutely wonderful! She has a cat named "Gus" and has had him for nine years, which I think he has been her saving grace! I visited many assisted living facilities and when I walked into this one, (which is not a large one), there sat "Lilly"! She is the resident welsh corgy dog and she greeted me with such warm eyes and a friendly wagging tail. Well that set the tone for me! I, of course, walked in, "unannounced", which is what they recommend you do, so you can actually see what is happening and observe the sites, sounds and smell of the facility. They were very kind, helpful and gave me a tour of their facility mom now calls "home". They also have what's called a "memory care" side, which thank goodness mom doesn't have to reside on this part of the facility. They gave me a tour of the rooms with private baths, with shared baths and even have room where two people can share if they like! It has a fabulous dining room, a very large outdoor fenced in backyard where they can even have a garden if they so choose. A lovely front porch area with wicker furniture and they can even have their own bird feeders at their window! Well, one of the most important factors to me was that mom be able to keep Gus, her cat! We chatted about everything and then I asked, "can Mom have her cat here"! They said "YES"!! I was just so relieved because I was so concerned I would not be able to find this level of quality care I wanted mom to have and also have her cat too! I was shocked, but then Lilly (the resident dog) helped me make up my mind. So I left, revisited again and signed the necessary papers. This facility was kind enough to let me sign all these papers without any POA or other necessary papers required by law, which was amazing to me, but I was so thankful they worked with me, as some of the other facilities wouldn't even talk with me. This facility has just 45 rooms, is owned by a fabulous corporation which does really seem to care about all of their residents and I think it shows!! You can expect to spend at LEAST $3500 A MONTH, just for living in an assisted living facility, if it costs any less, better check your state and found out about them, because they make many infractions against! I checked every facilities record even before I started visiting the ones which would fit mom and which I felt would appeal not only to me, but mom most of all!! So be sure to check each facilities records, they will list what types of violations, etc., they have been given, because if they are registered with the state, the state visits these facilities on a regular basis. Make sure you know everything there is to know about any of the ones you may be interested in, because appearances can be deceiving, even if they look great, it truly doesn't mean a thing if they have a number of violations. If they aren't registered with the state you reside in, don't even consider this type of facility, because then they don't have to follow the state guidelines!

I finally have gotten all the papers I need to make sure mom is well taken care and most of all happy for the remainder of her life and it's truly a relief to know I can now take care of my mom, giving back to her for what she gave me during my life and for that I am so thankful.

I just wanted to get some things off my chest, thanks for taking the time to let me share this experience with you and please ensure you help your parents take care of things, because without them we wouldn't be here today!

Hope everyone has a beautiful Easter and thank God for our wondrous world and our family!



Melissa said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I wanted to take a moment to reiterate what you said about the POA and other legal documents. Its very timely as the Terry Schaivo case anniversary was 5 years ago yesterday. I was only 30 when I used my health care proxy-I had an emergency during giving birth and if I hadnt had the paperwork on file I would have had to wait for approval from a stranger regarding my care! Thanks for reminding us of this very important subject. I hope your mom is doing better soon and gets all settled in and begins to feel at home....

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Boy!, you have a lot on your plate. Your mom is so lucky to have you watching out for her best interests.

I hope things become more of a routine for you, and you won't feel so much as if you're being pulled in many directions.

Happy Easter.

Niles Assisted Living said...

This was a real quality post.

Connecticut lap band surgeons said...

Ha ha nicely said Tristan...but as far as the post is concerned. It was worthy reading and it helped me in my cause.

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One of the most difficult decisions a family has to arrive at that makes them feel guilty is sending their parents to nursing homes.1Y0-A16

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