Archive for the ‘Aging’ category

A Place for Mary

April 7, 2019

Well the deal is done. We told Mary about our plans for her. We made an appointment to meet with the folks at Regency Palms in Long Beach. We met with one of the administrators for lunch. Here’s a picture of one of the administrators with Mary.

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Jonathan and Mary

We had meat loaf with mashed potatoes and carrots. Mary cleaned her plate and ate dessert too. As usual, she was real slow in eating, but we weren’t in a rush.

After lunch, we took her to her room and gave her a tour. Once that was done we headed down to the office to work on next steps. I gave them copies of her power of atty documents.

Next we got a document to take to her doctor to fill out. Once we get the medical clearance we can do the contract and schedule a nurse home visit.

Once we were sitting in the office conference room, I think Mary finally figured out what we were talking about. The first time that we brought up the subject on Thursday evening, I don’t think she understood what we were talking about.

We had told her that we wouldn’t be able to care for anymore and that we were physically and emotionally shot. Perhaps, she thought that we would be moving out. Who knows? At any rate, it seems that she finally understood it today. But she doesn’t remember any of it today.

Now we get to work signing forms.

Board & Care #3

April 6, 2019

This is the 3rd (and hopefully final) Board & Care that we have visited. It is up in the NE corner of Torrance. It is a solid 30 minute drive either on the freeway or on surface streets. As in most B&C’s, this is in a single family dwelling.

Here is an outside view of the home:

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This B&C is licensed for five residents. Currently there are only two residents living there. So there are three open rooms. All of the rooms are private bed rooms. Residents do share bathrooms.

Seeing as there are only two residents, it was pretty quiet. There was a large main room for dining and couches for watching TV.

Price is $3800, but might jump up in $500 increments if additional services required. I don’t have a good feel what they might be.

It seemed to be clean but the ramps could use a coat of paint. There was some patio furniture that looked pretty worn.

This one seem a bit better than the first two, but that maybe because there are only two people living there.

We are planning on discussing the topic with Mary this evening. We will probably take  Mary for a visit on Saturday to the Torrance B&C and the Long Beach Memory Care unit.

More later…

Board & Care #2

April 3, 2019

We visited another Board & Care today. Our goal is to make a decision by Saturday. This B&C is in San Pedro on 1st Street. It is only 5 minutes from our house. Once again this facility is in a private residence (as are most B&C’s) Here is an exterior picture:

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So this home seemed a bit bigger than the B&C we visited yesterday. It didn’t seem quite as cramped. There are three bathrooms. Each bedroom is equipped with two hospital style beds. So here are my pluses and minuses:

  • Price is $3800 flat rate per month. All inclusive.
  • Shaded patio outside.
  • 5 minute drive to get there. This means we can keep doing Mary’s usual routines like her hair appt. on Friday.
  • Newer TV. Not that it matters, Mary doesn’t watch any TV.
  • Ramps out back.

Here are some more pictures:

Bottom line is we don’t really know how Mary would take to doing the move. We will probably break the news to her in the next day or so. Then take her for a tour.

The proximity to our place issue is huge. Price is also a big plus. We can pay for it quite easily. We won’t go broke moving her. Cheaper and nicer. That’s a good combination.

Stay tuned.

Joe

Bored & Care

April 2, 2019

Today, Paula and I visited a “Board and Care” facility in Torrance. Board and Care is the name given to non-medical care facility typically provided for  up to six or so seniors typically in a residential setting.

The facility that we visited is in a single family residence in Torrance. This particular B&C is licensed for up to 6 residents. Here’s an outside picture.

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As you can see from the picture, a ramp has been provide for handicap access. Though I wouldn’t want to have to do an emergency evacuation in case of fire.

Pluses

  • Only about 10-12 minutes from our home.
  • Price is $4000 for a bed in a semi-private room. That’s a lot less than some of the other elder care facilities. Price is all inclusive including all meals but not medicine.
  • Nurse Practitioner visits once a week.
  • Facility was clean. No rugs (trip hazard)

Minuses

  • It felt crowded. All of the residents (all five of them) were sitting in worn recliner chairs watching TV (Set was tuned to a “Bonanza” episode on TV-land. I figure that was the total extent of their mental stimulus. It wasn’t even a particularly good TV.
  • Lunch was served while we were there. We were not asked to join them. Menu was sloppy joes and a cup of jello or pudding. It didn’t look particularly appetizing.
  • Not sure how many bathrooms there are. We only saw one. I would assume there would be more, but we just didn’t see them. The bathroom that Mary would use is outside the room and a few feet down the hall. It has handicap access shower and toilet.

Here are a few more pictures. I didn’t want to take any pictures of the living room because there were residents sitting in the chairs.

Bottom Line

This ain’t it. We can afford better.  A lot better. I would be embarrassed to think we put Mary here.

We probably will try to see another couple of board & care’s by Thurday. Make decision by Thursday.

TTFN

Joe

 

A Place for Mom

April 1, 2019

We have decided to start the search for a facility to care for Mary. Paula and I are just running out of gas. We are running out of patience.

We need to be constantly vigilant as to what she is doing and needs to do. She remembers our name (most of the time). For instance, if we were to ask her to do two things. eg. brush teeth, come back out and sit at the table, she would only remember the first task.

With our trip planned to Boston in May and my knee surgery in June, we felt that now was the time to get her into skilled nursing facility that specializes in “memory care”.

We found a placement service aptly named “A Place for Mom” that has been helping us find such a place. The service is free to us. The placement fees are paid by the skilled nursing facilities. There is also an iPhone app. Search for “A Place for Mom” in the app store. BTW, it gets good grades from YELP.

So far we have visited a couple of sites for our consideration. The first one was nice but had a couple of problems. First, it was too far. It is located in Hermosa Beach, which is a 30-40 minute drive up the 110 freeway for us. Price was also a bit high for our taste. It starts with a base price of about $5000 and then adds on fees for meds and other related services.

We figured that our bottom line would be around $7500.

Second one we visited is in Long Beach. This is a bit closer. Probably about 15 minutes. The building was once an office building that had been refurbished into a nursing facility. They made an offer that we might not be able to refuse. They offered first two months for $95 (Mary’s age). The fee is normally a flat fee of $6100. No add-ons. We had lunch with the Memory Care director. Food was very tasty.

Here are a few pictures:

We put a $500 deposit on this place. We have one more place to visit on Tuesday. We’ll see. We should know our path forward by end of next week. We still need to tell Mary about our plans and take her for a tour. Then schedule moving people to move her stuff.

Second Tuesday

October 9, 2018

Okay, today is the second Tuesday of the month and that means that the ladies at the Assistance League of San Pedro/South Bay are having their monthly luncheon meeting. Go to hyperlink to learn more about the Assistance League. Both Paula and Mary are members and usually attend. Paula runs the Chapter Relations Committee and she needs to be there early. Getting there early means that she gets prime parking. This is important because Mary can’t walk too far.2018-10-09 09.04.19.jpg

So we got up bright and early, had breakfast and hit the shower. We got Mary up, fed and dressed. Mary needs help getting dressed these days (that’s Paula’s job). At 9:00 AM, I walk Mary down to the elevator and wait for Paula to drive around to pick Mary up. So I load Mary into the Prius and off they go.

One of the nice things about our condo is that it’s all on one level. No stairs. That wasn’t an issue when Mary bought the property, but it is now. There is an elevator that takes us down to the garage. Mary doesn’t handle stairs very well anymore. We need to always be keenly aware of handicap accessibility. Another fall would probably kill her.

That means that I am free for the next four hours. So I headed to Albertson’s to do some grocery shopping. First thing, I head to the Starbuck’s and order my usual venti iced coffee.  I also order a pumpkin scone. The barista tells me that they were out of “venti” cups so she had to give the larger cup. Twist my arm I tell her. I sit down at one of the small tables and sip my coffee and check the news on my iPhone. Ah, life is good.

So the first thing that the Barista asks me is “Where’s Paula?”. She’s at a meeting with her mother, I tell her.  I’m flying solo today. The butcher and checkout lady ask me the same question, “Where’s Paula?”

So, i finish my shopping and head home. I unload all the groceries and sit down for a quiet lunch. Now, I finish this blog post and it’s time for Red Sox baseball.

 

Mary

June 3, 2018

2018-06-02 20.42.38Time for another post on Mary. We took her to church this morning. Lately, it seems that she has been agreeable to going to church on Sunday. The only challenge is getting to brush her teeth, wash her face and get dressed in a timely manner.

Her memory continues to fail. When we got home from church, she asked us if it was breakfast time.  No. we told her, it’s lunch time. She has trouble differentiating morning from evening.

Everyone at church are happy to see her. She doesn’t remember who they are but she smiles at the attention she gets.

So pretty much the only things she gets out for are church on Sunday and hair salon on Friday when she gets her hair done. We also drag her to the OES meetings on the first and third Mondays of the month. She always sits in the same seat in the lodge room. I should put her name on it “The Mary K Stanley” seat.

People have asked us what we do when we travel as when we flew to Boston last Month for Mass Grand Chapter. We use a service that provides us with 24/7 care coverage. It’s expensive, but no where near what a nursing home would cost. For shorter time periods like going to the movies or out to dinner, we have a couple of sitters who can come over and spend the evening.

The past couple of weeks have been a challenge for Paula doing her Assistance League duties while I have to be at my radiation treatments up in Hollywood. Last week Paula had a board meeting to go to while I was up in Hollywood. She just took Mary with her, gave her a cup of coffee and gave her a seat.