Monday, January 05, 2009

Mixed Bag

I called Palo Alto this morning. The review board hasn't convened yet, which means that the soonest anything could happen with Dad is in a week or two, which means that I can't be there because I teach on Mondays and Wednesdays and the surgeries are always on Tuesday (this is if he even gets the surgery, of course). Also, we'd be responsible for transportation in both directions. So I'd drive him there over the weekend, try to get him into the hospital on Sunday (rather than their standard Monday), and then drive back to teach.


When I called Dad to tell him all this, it turned out that the home healthcare nurse was due to arrive in half an hour, so I raced into the shower, threw on clothes, and got over there so I could meet her. I like her a lot -- and she likes Dad -- and it turns out that she'll be ordering physical therapy, occupational therapy, a medical social worker, and bathing help. So many of my questions about how to get those services are now answered!

I walked her out so we could talk about Dad's care. She hadn't known that Fran's leaving. Dad's not safe to live alone, she said (no surprise), so if Fran indeed bails -- as she now seems dead-set on doing -- either Dad has to go into assisted living or the nurse will have to call in Adult Protective Services, who'll put him in a nursing home.

Obviously, we'll put him in assisted living. She recommended a nearby group home that she says is excellent and slightly less expensive than others: $1,800 a month, versus $3,000. Medicare doesn't cover this, and the VA probably won't either.

I'm hoping that Dad can pay some of this out of his Social Security, and that my sister and I can work out some way to divvy up the rest. Fran, when I ran all this by her and Dad afterwards (in a futile attempt to convince her to stay), suggested paying someone to live with Dad the way she's been doing. I'll have to explore whether that's feasible, and whether it would be more or less expensive than the assisted-living place.

Fran was trying to get Dad and me to feel sorry for her. It didn't work.

If he gets the new valve, maybe he'll feel so much better that none of this will be necessary. I can dream, can't I?


  1. Situations sure change quickly, don't they??!! I am an RN and a former adult protective services worker in a different state. Check out and follow the links to protective services. I believe that if Fran does leave the home care RN needs to file a report with adult protective services, but that does NOT automatically lead to a recommendation on placement. If this process starts, don't panic - it is NOT a judgement about YOU, or your dad. Most often, elder abuse/abandonment is due to overwhelmed caregivers (like Fran) and lack of appropriate and easily accessible resources for care at home!

  2. Susan,

    Absolutely, you can dream! Playing with dreams often leads to creative ideas. Go for it!

    I'm sorry Fran is set on leaving. I still wonder how she is going to manage that since it doesn't sound as if she has enough resources to manage it all on her own.

    This nurse sounds wonderful! I hope she keeps coming up with good ideas.

    Prayers ascending for all of this!


  3. I've heard that veterans may be eligible for assistance with assisted living costs. It'd be worth checking out. You and your family continue to be in my prayers


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