Friday, February 27, 2009
Today I spoke to the homecare social worker, who agreed that the PT had behaved completely inappropriately, but also said she'd given us completely incorrect information. Group homes -- the good ones, anyway -- are more expensive than assisted living, not less, and there's something like a two-year waiting list for the waiver program that would make them affordable. So if Dad can't stay where he is, his only option will be to go into a nursing home, apply for the waiver program, pay his assets down until he's on Medicaid, and wait to see if he gets into the waiver program and can move out of the nursing home into a group home.
Gary and I talked about the possibility of paying up to $800/month ourselves -- although that would be very difficult for us to maintain -- to keep him where he is. What could we get for that? Could we get enough services?
In the meantime, I swam, gave a presentation to a local elder-college group, had the final inspection of the old apartment (which went fine, and my key ring is now pounds lighter!), and called Dad to see if he wanted to go to a concert with us tonight. He decided he did. He'd gone to the exercise class at his facility today and enjoyed it. Much cheered, I told him that Gary and I would be there around five to have dinner with him and take him to the concert.
But when we got there, he was sitting semidressed in his wheelchair. He didn't want to go down to dinner, let alone to the concert. I managed to coax him into eating some applesauce and an Ensure and checked his temp and BP -- both of which were fine -- and also rebandaged a wound on his arm that had reopened. He bleeds very easily these days, and his arms are horribly bruised.
As we were getting him changed into his PJs, he had an accident, so we summoned a caregiver to help get him cleaned up. This is the third time this has happened, so she's recommending Depends. Lots of people there wear them, but Dad won't be able to get in and out of them himself . . . which already, by itself, puts his care level above what we can afford (at least, if I'm reading the contract right: there are complicated point systems for different kinds of care, and numbers of points translate into drastic jumps in cost).
I'm afraid that putting him in a nursing home will kill him, although my sister and Gary both think that's starting to look like the only option. I don't know what to do. Thank God we're meeting with the social worker on Monday.
Oh, and before he could go to a nursing home, he'd have to be admitted to a hospital for three nights. I'm sufficiently worried about his sudden downward spiral that I'm tempted to take him to the VA ER anyway, just to see if they can find something that can be treated, but he'd fight me tooth and nail on that.
On the plus side, I had a decent conversation with my mother today, and gave a well-received presentation to a local elder-college group, and swam.
Thanks to everyone for the comments, especially about how these dreary narratives are helping you. That helps me, because I feel like the most boring person on the planet right now!