Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Today's Developments

I took Dad to visit the upscale assisted-living place today. He was impressed by the facilities, but the financial aspects make both of us nervous: even a little extra care over the basic package (for instance, help showering once a week) costs an extra $255 a month, and that amount goes up steeply as the need for services increases. I asked if we could hire someone to come in from outside to help Dad shower -- which would be less expensive -- and they're going to get back to me on that.

We haven't gone to see the group home yet, and probably won't be able to do that until next week. But in the meantime, Fran apparently hasn't been able to arrange a place to live in Chicago and is waffling about leaving (although she's paid for a plane ticket), so we may have a bit more time to get things straightened out.

On the oxygen front, I conferred with three oxygen techs, all of whom said, "If you wrap the tanks in blankets and lie them down in the trunk, you'll be fine." The important thing's to keep them from crashing around, but that shouldn't be a problem, especially since the folding wheelchair, and as much of our luggage as will fit, will also be in the trunk. One guy told me, "You'd need two tons of pressure on the top of the oxygen tank for anything bad to happen." Obviously, the tanks would be a liability in an accident, but then any accident would be a liability on its own.

And as Terri pointed out in her comment on yesterday's post, people drive around with oxygen tanks all the time. How many people in the world are on oxygen? And how often do any of us hear of catastrophic accidents? So I've decided to be careful, but not to worry any more than I usually worry on the road.

It looks like the weather will be good for the trip out. We'll see what happens when we need to come back!


  1. Fingers and toes all crossed for good weather for you!

    In one way you are lucky - at least you have a choice of homes. My Mum was found to be EMI (elderly mentally infirm - lovely label that, isn't it? Sometimes I despair of the hospital system over here!) after hospitalization for a fall. There was only a single home with a place that could/would take her. We had no choice but to send her there, though were trying to find somewhere nearer to us (it was a 45 minute drive to get there) after my Dad died, but Mum only survived him by six and a half weeks.

    Best of luck with the viewing of the group home.

    Best wishes from bright and frosty Liverpool

  2. Assisted living can be enormously expensive. I hope that the answer to hiring outside help comes back a yes. That place sounds so cheerful and friendly. Prayers for a good answer and safe travel. Glad you talked to the oxygen techs. Whew!


  3. What Terri Said again; anyone who dives knows that driving around with oxygen tanks in the trunk is part of the process and generally safe, especially if they're not rolling about. (And generally even if they are--though they're noisy enough that blankets are a good idea anyway.)

    Good luck with the trip!

  4. Hope you get good news back on hiring someone. Who knows how that works! Is there any chance his VA insurance would pick up part of the tab for services based on his level of disability? Prayers continuing. LOVE the cat pictures!

  5. One thing i learned in my diving class was that you should point the nozzle part of the tank towards the front of the car, and the tank part towards the back; this way, if someone *does* rearend you and the tanks somehow manage to explode, they'll fail at the nozzle (the weakest part) and shoot into the engine of the car behind you, which should be tough/heavy enough to stop it. I don't know how true it is, but if it makes you feel better, then go for it!

    (Also, i backed into a tree with an oxygen tank in my trunk after i finished my open water certification--right in front of my drill sargeant instructor--and nothing exploded. I was about to die of embarrassment, though... ;)


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