Monday, August 3, 2009

Doctor limits new ALF choices causing problems for me

After a week Mom's doctor finally called me to discuss her situation. He feels that her needs mean she is on the high end for assisted living but not ready for a nursing home. He recommended two small in-home assisted living facilities. I visited both and believe Mom will hate them both.

The first was brand new, open, beautiful, the ladies warm and friendly but the owner/manager/main care giver has a small dog that jumped on me, growled on me and she didn't seem to care! The owner/manager/care giver is also a very small woman and she's there alone most of the day. I fear that she cannot physically provide the help Mom needs. I worry that mom's too far gone to live in this ALF. I can only imagine how mom would feel about the dog. She has never liked animals in the house and given her vision problems a small animal walking near her feet would make her fearful of falling over it. The growling is a completely different matter. The owner said the dog "likes to talk to people"... It growled at me, in doggie speak that is a hostile action and it should not be tolerated around elderly residents. The other disadvantage of this ALF is that they do not accept medicaide.

The second home was smaller, felt warm but the room available is shared with a failing 92 year old. Mom would hate that and it has a nursing home feel. They are more flexible especially with meal times which Mom would appreciate. She could sleep and eat on her prefered schedule not the ALF schedule. This place is also willing to accept medicaide so Mom can stay put if we can't sell her place.

SO - today, I'm doing another dreaded and stressful task - taking Mom for another visit. My brother and I spoke to Mom about moving during a Saturday evening family supper. She said she does not want to move; that she finally feels like she's getting acquainted and visiting with others. She's met a few people who are long-time acquaintances but several of those meetings were possible ONLY because I visited and took her to the large living room and outside where others gather. Normally she will not ask someone to take her there or attempt to go on her own. I will take her to the facility without the dog. If she does not like it, I'll take her to the one WITH the dog and see what happens.

I must say that I feel stymied at each turn; I feel it's a no win situation. Our options for facilities seem so limited; that's due to several factors - Mom's condition, her stubborness, her doctors preferences and opinions, the rules and conditions of each ALF and her possible need for medicaide. Ugh.