My brother and I went to visit an assisted living facility yesterday to see if it was a possible option for our dad to move into, once we determine if or how much the VA is going to cover of the expenses. It was very nice, I was very emotional, and actually cried as I was talking to the intake coordinator. My brother was probably clueless, since he knows nothing about my meltdown Thursday. He had no idea, for example, that when I left the doctor’s office where I’d gone for an injection, that I was crying so hard, I had to go sit in the park and phone a friend before I felt strong enough to face my family. Even then, I went home and straight to my room until I got it together. Then I washed my face, attempting to freshen my makeup, and joined the family in the living room. I only told David what happened and no one else questioned me.
The doctor changed my muscle relaxer to diazapam, half a pill to only be taken at night. I felt ashamed that I was having to go on Valium, but it has already helped. I get the kind of relaxation when I’m asleep that makes me stay asleep and I can even still feel its effects in the morning. Then, later on in the day, I take my ashwaghanda gummies to stay on an even keel. I can still get emotional at the drop of a hat, though, so I try to avoid stress.
Anyway, back to the facility. It was nice, but expensive-depending on the level of care Dad will need after the assessment. We go to the VA on Wednesday, and learn what benefits Dad will get, and proceed from there. We may have to tour several more facilities until we find a match. Kevin is still clueless as to the amount of attention Dad will need. There is the issue with incontinence. That means daily laundry and sometimes multiple changes of clothing and undergarments. He needs assistance for bathing, and bathroom trips. He cannot shave himself. He eats well but sometimes has a problem swallowing liquids, which is normal for Parkinson’s patients. he has communication issues. He cant talk and can barely hear, even with good hearing aids. That means his level of care will possibly be a 4 which adds to the cost of the facility monthly. Even if the VA helps with the cost, he will still have to use all his assets to live in a facility. This is the care you get when you’ve worked full time until you were 80??? He does not have long-term insurance. We will have to sell his house and use that money to pay for a facility.
Kevin took him for a walk outside today and he was not paying close enough attention and Dad fell. Luckily, he grabbed him and he just scraped his shoulder and didn’t hit his head. But now he is scared again, so he is taking smaller steps, and slower to get up and down than he was yesterday. I think if Kevin had to do everything we do in an entire weekend, he would understand how close you have to watch him. He would understand how much care he needs. I would ask him to do it, but I’d be scared to see the condition of my house and my dad when I got home. His idea of helping is watching movies with him, and assisting him with walks to the bathroom and maybe giving him a shower once a week. He also pitches in with food and necessities, which helps because he goes through a lot of undergarments. But all the laundry, cooking, dishes, and daily hygiene stuff is a lot for one person to do. I make him brush his teeth, would he? I have to do the really personal stuff for him. Would he? I give his meds to him on time three times a day, would he remember? Would he do all the dishes, and the laundry, and change the bedding when necessary, get him up every hour and make sure he does his exercises? It’s a lot, especially when you have your own stuff to do! Thats what I mean when I say I need help. Dave lives here and even he does only so much. But I appreciate everything he does do. And he understands what I’m going through is a lot. I want my dad to get the best care possible because I love him, so finding a facility that will take care of him the right way will be difficult and expensive. I pray we get through it!
PS: I just talked to my kids after dinner and told them everything. I told Sean he would have to start getting his head around the idea that he needs to find another place to live. His face. He really thought that house would be his. He couldn’t afford the taxes alone. Never mind the upkeep. So now he is worried. But he is nearly forty years old. Its high time we stop sugar coating everything and make him understand the truth is a harsh reality. He has a lot of problems of his own right now, but he has a decent job, and once he gets his car fixed, he can start looking. Josh and his girlfriend offered to help more, and I appreciate that. I wasn’t trying to depress them, but damn, they need to understand the whole situation. Again, this is a family affair.
Thanks for letting me vent, once again, but when I saw the prompt for the day, I knew I had to unleash the thoughts swirling in my mind. Then I walked back in the house from talking to the kids and found out from Dave that one of his former co-workers from Groves passed away today from COViD. How heartbreaking. I feel horrible for his new wife, and for Dave because he was a good friend to him when we lived down there. Take care of yourselves friends. You never know how long you have on this earth. 😌