Tuesday, January 13, 2009
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!