Wow!! I just noticed that this blog is 6 years old today.
I wish I had something profound to say.
But I don't.
There have been some major changes in my life. My aunt died, my mother became unable to care for herself and had to be moved to a nursing home. I sold her house and became her Power of Attorney and guardian. My mother-in-law suffered a catastrophic stroke in July, 2010 and Dan and I moved her from her home in New Jersey to a near-by nursing home here in Virginia in March of 2011 when it became clear she was not going to have a good recovery.
I have learned many of the ways I do not want to get old.
I have learned that Medicare pays for almost nothing when it comes to nursing homes and that a "life savings" can and will disappear in less than 18 months.
I have learned about feeding tubes and obsessive/compulsive behaviours in dementia patients. I have also learned that "dementia" covers an extremely wide range of things and is used much too loosely in many instances.
I have learned that nursing homes are not well staffed and that the staff they do have is overworked and underpaid and that most of them work very hard and are extremely dedicated in spite of it. I have also learned that a few bad apples really DO spoil the whole bunch.
I have surmised, although I have no proof, that the new Medicare/Medicaid rules which state that they will no longer pay for nosocomial infections (infections acquired while a patient in a facility) such as Urinary Tract Infections or MRSA simply means that the nursing homes and hospitals will do their best to avoid testing for such infections in order to bypass the possibility of not being reimbursed for the treatment. Therefore, if you want your loved one treated for such infections you must take it upon yourself to watch them very carefully for signs and/symptoms of such infections and insist upon testing if and when you think it's a possibility.
I have learned that it's always a possibility that they've got either a UTI or MRSA or both and that, in the elderly, often the only sign of a UTI is confusion, increased confusion, combative behaviour, increased lethergy or a sudden mood change.
The rest of the family is well. All children and grandchildren are wonderful. Spouse is fantastic.
Gaining weight is hard for some people and the struggle is often dissed badly by people who do not have a problem gaining weight.
I no longer recognize even one name of anyone nominated for a music award.
Cats are crazy.
Poets are crazy.
I like cats better than I like poets.
Cockatiels live forever. They only get louder and more demanding as time passes.
Someday I will touch a dolphin.