Friday, May 30, 2014

I am Freaking Out this Friday

I blinked my eyes and my life changed overnight.  Last week I was going along with everything the same as it has always been and today everything is up in the air and subject to change.

I have gotten to the point in my care giving journey where I need even more respite than I am currently getting.  It is no longer enough for me to have a caregiver for 6 hrs each day and for Mom to be gone a few days each month.  I am tired, impatient and resentful.  Mom no longer recognizes any home as where she lives and goes on for hours each and every day about how she needs to "get home" before "they" worry about her.  She no longer wants to go out anywhere and sleeps more hours each day then she is awake which prevents me from being able to leave the house at all.

Several months ago I started investigating different options that we had available to us.  The first residential home I checked out was called East Harbor and is part of the Presbyterian Villages.  It was a wonderful place....clean, well staffed, the residents all appeared bright and animated, there are resident pets on site, there is an enclosed courtyard where residents are able to go outside should they want, there are activities scheduled throughout the day, the rooms are private and furnished by the residents and their families....pricing starts at $5200 per month.  Needless to say that price tag was a big concern.

Since then I have been to four other facilities in the area, one was nice, one was okay and one was a no go....they range in price from $4500-$3700.  The problem is every time I walk into a facility, I end up comparing it to East Harbor....and there is no comparison.

I have decided to take Mom in for an evaluation to see what level of care would be needed for her and be told what the exact cost would be for Mom to live there.  In the meanwhile we need to contact VA and find what benefits, if any, Mom might be entitled to from Dad's stint in the Army. We also need to look at what she currently has coming in each year and what we have in savings and investments.  I also need to get her most recent medical records and have her doctor complete some paperwork.  After all of this is complete we will be having a family meeting and making a decision.

I am not lying to myself and saying that Mom will be better off but I am being honest with myself and recognizing that I am no longer able to be the care giver that Mom deserves.  I am ready to go back to being her daughter again.

On a different front, I went to the doctor about this swollen lymph node in my neck.  She did a blood draw immediately and let me know that there is no infection....this sounds like good news...but it is not.  That means that there is no easy answer as to why my lymph nodes are enlarged so now I am scheduled for a CAT scan on Tuesday and will have to wait at least 4 days after that for the results.


Stress makes me sleepy and I am sitting here fighting to keep my eyes open so I think I will leave Mom in Frank's care and crawl into bed with my book for awhile.


20 comments:

  1. Oh Wendy I am so sorry that you are going through this. While I think having a caregiver come in 6 hours a day and a few respite days a month sounds like pure Heaven, we each have to do what we need to do for our own personal mental health. I know that care homes are over the top expensive. And I would certainly advise you to install a 'nanny cam' in the room and watch it every single day. We just had a horror story about a care home in our state. I will continue to pray for you!!!

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    1. I know Paula, and I think about how strong you are with very little respite but I really think that I am at the end of my rope...It has been a loooooong 5 yrs. I will definitely do the nanny cam thing you can get them to go right to an app on your cell phone now.

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    2. I am glad that you will do the nanny cam. And I haven't been doing it as long as you but I know there are days when I say "I can't do this another day"...I know you will do what is best for you and your mom

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    3. Thanks Paula, I was telling Frank that I feel much like I did when I got my divorce. I knew it was something that I had to do to save myself but I still felt like such a failure.....

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  2. Wendy.... so many times have I heard the cries of my family members speak of their guilt because they had to make heart wrenching decisions about their elderly parents. My cousin kept her breast cancer a secret, until she was cured.. all this brought on by the constant worry and care of having her mother to care for. My uncle, two aunts, and dad's mother-in-law are all in assisted living for various reasons including dementia. The caregivers all share the same common denominators - stress and ill health. Yes, it is quite expensive, but God willing you and the family will find a way. Not everyone is cut out to take on the responsibility you did...God love you for trying. All of the above I have mentioned have become adjusted .... yes it took a while. I along with others make regular visits. The facilities are close enough in proximity that we have the advantage to visit on a regular basis. Pictures, familiar voices, faces, favorite belongings mean so much to them. This is your decision Wendy, and I am sure Frank is very concerned about as well. You are right .... it is ok to begin to become the daughter once more, wife to Frank, and get your own life back without guilt. R..........

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  3. Let me know if I can do anything Wendy. Use me!! I am not working. If you need someone to sit with her, so you can go out or whatever. I will be praying for your situation . It is hard, I know. I ran back and forth every day from waterford to sterling heights to help my mom and dad for 5 months before my dad passed. I was exhausted for months after. Please if you need anything from me, let me know, and I will be up at Kirstens in a couple weeks anyways so I will be close and can help you if you need. Hugs and Prayers!! God Bless You!

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  4. My heart is with you none can ever question what you have given done for your mother there should be no guilt and your in my prayers miss you

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    1. I miss you too. Any bites on your house yet??

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  5. your doing the right thing for both your Mom and you Wendy:) Your Mom would understand your decision and she would respect you for it. You have to be able to take care of yourself too. If you get sick taking care of your Mom it won't do either of you any good. Taking care of an elderly parent is very draining. You ARE making the right choice so there is no reason to feel guilty! God Bless You and your Mom:)

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  6. I agree with commenter Denise except to say that you will feel guilty beyond all reasonable arguments to the contrary. Just accept that and move on knowing in your heart you are doing the right thing for all involved.

    Prayers for your own health. For your own sake as well as that of your family (including your mom), your focus should be on you now.

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    1. Thank you. My daughter said the same thing.."of course you are going to feel guilty but you will just have to work through those feelings".

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  7. My heart and prayers are with you. I know how hard this decision is to make. I know that you are not taking it lightly. You're health should be in the forefront right now as you cannot take care of anyone else until you are taken care of. I speak from personal experience. I wish there were "easy" answers but there never are. You know what is right for you and so do those who care about you. Prayers during this trying time. Get some rest and take one moment at a time until you are able to take bigger bites.

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    1. Thank you Chrystal, all prayers are appreciated.

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    2. Wendy my mom was in a nursing home at 9,000 a day for about 6 weeks before she passed last year. Her insurance paid for it as I couldn't take care of her myself any longer. So that sounds cheap to me and much nicer.

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    3. Wow 9K a day!! That is unreal. This facility does not accept insurance, it is a private facility but they do have a wing for patients with medical needs and that wing accepts insurance. If you are a resident there you have priority when/if you need the medical wing. Thanks for stopping by Candy.

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