As I mentioned recently, we have put mom in a long term care facility. It has been a crazy learning experience. A friend of mine is beginning the process, and while her situation is quite a bit different than mine, she has put it perfectly –
I don’t know what I don’t know…
I know what I thought I knew – I thought that you had to have an expiration date to go to a hospice. No, and they have so many more things that they will help with aside from just end of life care. I thought a doctor had to put a person into a long term care facility. Only sort of. I thought once you were in one, you lost all freedom. No. You can still leave – if your health permits, with family, on day trips that the facility goes on, etc.
I thought that you had to be well off to pay for it. Not necessarily. Actually, it sometimes helps to have nothing. You don’t get into the Taj Mahal of nursing homes, but they aren’t all cesspools. Mom is in a nice one. They are not all perfect. The nurse to patient ratio tends to be higher than I like, but they are very nice. The food seems to be pretty good and the place is very clean (I have stayed in much, much dirtier hotels that Travelocity has rated 5 stars).
While yes, mom would still much rather be home, she does understand.
She is also doing much better health wise than she has in a very long time.
My advice to everyone now is – make sure you have your ducks in a row before you can no longer quack.