March 16, 2010 – WE’VE GOT A MATCH!


(Real-time Entry)

My mother has been doing an INCREDIBLE amount of research this past week trying to find homes in the area equipped and willing to take Dad with his newly acquired behavioral problems.  I tell you, finding yourself through the maze of living options within the web of dementia healthcare is overwhelming, scattered and anything but black and white!  Between assisted living communities, nursing homes and private pay homes, some will take patients like Dad, but most won’t.  And it seems to only be through word of mouth that you can locate these places.  It’s a LOT of legwork!  I don’t understand how the healthcare system expects people like us to find the resources they require; it’s an insulting amount of time and effort that’s required from emotionally-distressed family members in order to find an adequate home for their loved one!  Imagine if my mother had a full-time job or kids at home… how would she have been able to take on this insurmountable project?  What about the millions of people like that who are at their breaking point and have no support??  There has to be an easier, more user-friendly way to find what you need!

Unbelievably, today is FIVE WEEKS that my father has been a Ward of the State at Botsford Hospital’s Geri-Psychiatric Ward.  They HOPE they may be able to discharge him sometime this week, but this call is so out of our hands.  He continues to lose weight at an alarming weight, is in bed sleeping during our visits lately, and is on a VERY large list of drugs.  He is still in there – but sometimes you only get small glimpses of him.  I personally think he’s doing amazing well based on the incredible circumstances and drugs that have been forced upon him.  He is definitely still my hero.  And I am starting to miss him terribly.  I have actually had a couple hearty sobs this past weekend in a newfound yearning for the “old him”, along with a realization that our amazing 2-way relationship is really more of a thing of the past…

The GOOD NEWS is that Mom has finally located a place that is willing to take Dad!  Plus, it appears that they are equipped to handle him through any difficult behavioral issues he may have, which means we wouldn’t have to relocate him to another home in the future!  Of course, it’s private pay, which Medicare doesn’t cover, so we’re lucky to be in the fortunate financial position to be able to take advantage of its services.  (I still worry about what others do in this situation when they aren’t covered by long-term care insurance?)  One bed just opened up unexpectedly – and Mom jumped at taking it!  We are paying for his room starting today regardless of when the hospital releases him.  I haven’t personally seen it yet but Mom says it feels more like a home than a hospital.  How lucky we are that my mom persevered!

So, hopefully in the very near future, Dad will be living at Courtyard Manor of Farmington Hills.  I look forward to being able to visit him again whenever I please!  🙂

We found a place… we found a place… we found a place – hallelujah!

19 Responses to “March 16, 2010 – WE’VE GOT A MATCH!”

  1. Mary said

    Thank God for Frank and for you all. Is it close? How is Frank? Can we send him cards? I know he may not be able to read them, but he may realize he is loved and missed.

    • Aunt Mary ~

      Dad’s new place will be 13 miles from Mom’s and pretty convenient for Frank and I as we travel in that direction regularly. Dad would LOVE cards from friends!! That’s a great idea! I would suggest something humorous vs. serious. Maybe a Just Because card or Thinking of You Across the Miles or Get Well Soon theme. Either send them to Courtyard Manor in his name or simply mail them to Mom at home. Thanks for thinking of it! Love you!!

  2. Amanda Davis said

    I’m so glad that you found a place that is appropriate for Frank’s needs. I hear ya on the insane amount of work required to find proper care for ANYone who is in need of specialized care. My dad has been through the wringer since 2002 as a result of lung cancer and the man would definitely be dead by now if it had not been for the ridiculously extreme efforts of my step-mother to get him the best care for his needs. He is diabetic and you just would not believe how many times the nurses and hospital would have his blood sugar at dangerous levels, on top of the rest of his life-threatening conditions, and the only way they get it back to normal is by actually listening to my stepmom basically BADGERING them until they do what she says, which works every single solitary time! I mean, hello, she lives with the man and cares for him constantly, how about maybe having some confidence that she knows what his needs are!

    My heart is with you all…love, Amanda

    • Amanda ~

      Yes, it is such a relief to know where he will be going and that they’re truly glad he’ll be living there too. I didn’t realize the complications your father is dealing with. Love and prayers back to you! 🙂 btw CONGRATULATIONS on moving into your photography career!!! I’m so excited for you! You’ll be wonderful and successful at it and your life will truly become your own creation. I hope you have LOTS OF FUN with it!!

  3. Deb said

    I was so glad and relieved for you that you finally found a place for your dad. Will he still be able to have visitors where he will be living? Mom and dad and I would love to still be able to go visit him. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom always.
    Love ya cuz!!

    • Once Dad is moved in I’ll let everyone know their options for visiting. I believe it’s open visitation but don’t know times of meals yet, etc. Stand by for more info… 🙂

  4. Carol Seemann said

    great great news!!

  5. Cousin Terry said

    So glad to hear the good news about Uncle Frank. I too miss the “old” uncle. Since I haven’t seen him in a few years I, fortunately, have memories of how he was. That is the way I choose to remember him. He was always my favorite uncle.

    Love ya

  6. Sue Leslie said

    Hello Fireks! We’re so happy that you’ve found a place to call ‘home’ for Frank. We too can appreciate how difficult it is to find care for a special loved one, as we have been in the process of finding a ‘personal assistant’ for our son, Randy, with special needs–he is now 26 and will be graduating from his school program in June. We know how grueling and exhausting this process is….our hearts go out to all of you. Know that you are always in our prayers.
    With love,
    Randy and Sue

    • Randy & Sue ~

      Yes, we do have a life challenge in common, don’t we? Thank you for pointing out how much you understand our emotional saga. We love you guys and have faith that Randy Jr. will be placed in a loving environment as well. XOXO

  7. Jeannette Mulheisen said

    So glad to hear such good news for all of you.

  8. Jim Pook said

    God always comes through! He is never late. But HE is never early. Very glad for the good news.


  9. Laura Porter said

    Joleen and Fran What great news that you can finally breathe again knowing Frank is going to be taking care of ( with his special needs ).Its got to be a relief for everyone !!! When he gets situated post his new address so we can send cards or visits . Thats the best news I have heard in a while ….(thank you God )

    • Laura ~

      FYI: I included a link to the assisted living home’s website in my 3-16-10 blog; however,the emailed update to subscribers only contained an excerpt (hence, not the paragraph with the link). Just FYI. Nonetheless, I will definitely update everyone VERY SOON as to how to find him and what visiting hours are best! 🙂 It sounds like he may be there as soon as tomorrow (Wed)!!!

  10. Ron and I keep you all in our prayers and thoughts.
    Spiritual friendship will give you strengeth and courage. We wish there was more we could do. But know always that we are there for you in prayer. Keep the faith.

  11. I’ve been reading about your father’s situation, and when I first read it came to tears, because I could relate so well. I’m so glad your mother found a place for you dad, and that they will be able to make him comfortable. When I read your story, the first name that came to mind was Judy Berry’s place, Lakeview Ranch. I had spoken to her on the phone last year and liked what she had to say. Just wanted you to know my thoughts and prayers are with your father and his family and friends.

    • Rose ~

      Thanks for reaching out! I recently came across the Lakeview Ranch (MN) and loved what I saw online. It gave me hope that we’d find someplace closer to home for Dad and relief in the knowledge that these types of places actually existed. Hopefully, Dad’s new home will turn out to be equivalent. However, I was told that he is still so drugged up from the hospital that his legs went out from underneath him today in one of their hallways. 😦 It is so disgusting that some people in the healthcare system think that overmedication is the solution. You are right – it is only for their OWN comfort and sense of ease, nothing to do with the PATIENT’S quality of life. It seems to me to be a very lazy, easy-out excuse for a community which doesn’t apparently have the time nor patience not desire to REALLY get to know someone who is in need of compassion and more personal quality approaches. With the proper resources doled out to the cause, I believe that we can treat ALL patients with a million times more diginity and compassion. After all, THEY DESERVE IT. Each and every one of them.

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