Friday, September 20, 2013

Exploring possibilities in care

I have written earlier this week about home maintenance issues.  The post I wrote was emotional and truthful!  I am impacted by home maintenance problems before and we moved into a Seniors Apartment in Virginia.  Then we moved to Florida and there were no Seniors Apartments in the are we live.  We bought a home because it was less expensive monthly, than an apartment and it was not populated with college kids!  But, after two years, we may be ready for another option.

We have visited a number of fee for service communities and continuing care communities in Virginia and here in the Gulf Coast.  Today we visited a continuing care community that actually makes some sense.  As with ALL continuing care facilities, there is an up front fee, a monthly fee that pays for the apartment, most utilities, one meal daily for both of us, and other services like 24/7 emergency medical care.  Continuing care communities require you to be fully functioning when you move in.  Then, if you need assisted living, nursing care, or memory support care, it is provided at no additional cost.  In my case that is a very attractive option.

The facility we toured today was modern, elegant, and required a more reasonable up front fee than some others we have toured.  The facility was clean and pleasant.  The assisted living portion and the skilled nursing areas were clean and did not have the odor of urine which is prevalent in nursing homes.  The Independent Living apartments were available in any configuration you could want.  Some were quite grand!  But so was the up front fee and monthly fee!  We did tour a one bedroom with a den that was perfect for us.  It had 1050 square feet!  We also toured a two bedroom two bath that was very livable!  

This community had every imaginable amenity.  Indoor pool, workout room, craft rooms, library that a small city would love to have, and a beautiful dining room.  Dining room service was restaurant style with a varied menu.  We enjoyed our lunch and ordered right off the daily menu.

The costs are shocking but the up front fee buys future care.  That is the best way look at an out lay of six figures for something you are renting!  But, try paying $200 a day for skilled nursing care.  That's $73,000 a year!  Two years of skilled nursing care equals the up front fee!

The other benefit is, my wife can live with me.  In the Navy Home, I am the only resident and she has to live somewhere else.  She can visit and stay for 5 days but she has to leave for 2 days.  And, if their is a hurricane, she has to leave.  Not a good scenario for her or me.

As this disease progresses, I will become more and more disoriented.  Right now, I have to know where she is at all times.  If she in not in the room I am in, I call out for her!  It is just where I am and it will only get worse.

We have also discussed this very openly with our son.  He is somewhat uncomfortable with this topic but he is also concerned about our future care.  Like any good son, he would like to have us live with him.  But, that stress is very difficult for a family and what if he has a great career opportunity that requires a move?  If I am in a facility, moving me would not be a good option.  I already don't travel well!  And that WILL get worse.

I am coming to the realization that moving back to Virginia is not going to happen.  Things cost more there and our Son and his family is not there.  It is a decision that hurts but I must defer to reason in this case.  I will always consider Hampton Roads home.

Since this facility has a waiting list, we need to make a decision soon.  It is not an easy decision and these next few days will be stressful.  But, it is ground we need to cover.  I will keep you posted.

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