Monday, August 1, 2016

Elder Care

My aunt who turns 94 this week was found a month ago lying alone in a parking lot after a fall. I don't know how long they (the Lifeline people) had been looking for her but it took a flashlight to find her. She was on her way to a card game. Or thought she was.

She was diagnosed with having dementia about ten years ago. For reasons I'm sure I will never understand she was living alone in a condo. A nice condo. Actually, a high-end condo. In Florida. Nice furniture. But alone.

Twice a day a woman would drop in, make her something to eat and leave again. The rest of the time she sat alone. Or walked around her condo. Or slept. Mostly slept. Once in a while she'd get together with some other condo residents and play cards. Or pretend to.

Less than a year ago she tripped over a living room table on her way to somewhere; caught a corner and went crashing into a heap. Ended up in the hospital for a couple of months doing 'rehab' and was then sent home again.

The plan for years was that the woman who made her food would come and live with her full-time when she couldn't take care of herself anymore. Hello! She already couldn't take care of herself anymore.

Now she's back in the same hospital. She won't be going home again.

I find it safest to go through life without opinions but I do have questions:

Why was a 90+ year old woman with dementia living alone in a condo? Why was she not put into a long-term care facility about the time she was first diagnosed with dementia? One of those 5-star resorts where there's company, card games, and actual CARE going on. Her late husband was a multi-millionaire. It's not like she couldn't afford it.

If you're afraid your parents will spend all their money and you won't get a big enough slice, get over yourself.