Posted 8/17/2013 11:00 AM (GMT -6)
I don't recall seeing your Dad's age ... or the health of your Mother. But, irregardless of both, care for your Dad will be demanding. It may be too much for your Mother to handle even after his surgery recovery period. And whether it's in his own home with 24/7 trained care or in an assisted living enveronment for dementia, it will be expensive too.
One thing for certain, as someone else here said, a "nursing home" is likely the last place you would want to see him go. As painful as it may be, you want to visit a number of facilities for care and try your best to evaluate them. Since your Dad is still in the hospital, you have a little time but probably not much - unless he could go into a rehab facility for a few weeks before needing to go into a more permanent place. However, few rehab facilities are equipped to handle dementia patients.
There is, I'm afraid a good deal of research ahead ... but it's needed to make the best decisions for your Dad - and your Mom. From what I read here, the POA (power of attorney) would be good for you to have - at least the medical POA, if your Mother has a hard timemaking decisions. The blood oxygen level may be more necessary for an Alzheimers patient than a Dementia patient. Ask your doctor.
A brief background of my experience and medical conditions:
I have had COPD for over 5-years, so I'm very familiar with the blood oxygen level. In fact, I have my own meter I use occasionslly at home. It's a very simple quick procedure, and in my case - when I have my blood pressure checked, they check my blood/oxygen level at the same time - because I have COPD. That's essentiallyObstructive Pulmonary Disease caused by Emphysema.
Last Saturday, when I was at my Psychologist, I asked him specifically what the difference was between Alzheimers and Dementia. There is a substantial difference in cause, in treatment and sometimes even in age of diagnosis. I asked because my Mother has been suffering with Dementia for over three years now ...how much more ... we'll never know, because she hid it so well.
Her trip started officially on Easter of 2011. She had been living alone for over 15-years (since my Father died) and was still driving in a limited way as late as 2011 when she was 93-years old. She fell in her own kitchen on Easter Sunday. I found out, and met her neighbor at the hospital that morning. After three weeks in the hospital for observation mostly, her doctor said she can go home - but not alone. she has to have a licensed and insured 24/7 caregiver ... which we did.
My house is a 40-mile round trip, and it's a two-story - so movingin with me was not an option even with a caregiver hired. Then, she is a very independant person ... refused to leave herhome ... so for the 15-months, she lived with a caregiver and I was over once or twice a week plus on the phone daily.
Last August, the Dementia got worse .... episodes in the middle of the night and slightly violent. She was admitted into the hospital because she insisted someone in her house, late at night, was trying to kill her. She was under observation for over 4-weeks, and then I was told she could not go back home - even with a caregiver. They did not have the medical expertise to handle her at this point.
And so, my search for a place for her started. I went to 6 different places, two of them were equipped (I thought) for her. then one of them called me back and said, after looking at her hospital records, they would not be equipped for her - but they did give me a recommendation
And that is where she is now ... and has been since September of 2012.
It is an Assisted Living Home for Dementia and Parkinsons patients. It is infinitely better than the one "nursing home" I went to see and not much more expensive. It is the closest, in its physical presence, to a large home ... actually 4 large homes - each with a capacity of 20 patients max. They have terrific programs there to stimulate the mind. They do not allow the residents to just wither away in their rooms in front of a TV alone.
I did a financial study recently, and I found that it actually was costing a little more money for Mom to have a live-in caregiver at her ownhome than living in this Assisted Living Home. But - she was alone, except for the caregiver - and only one SS check and partial pension check was coming in.
There's no question about it ... either is an expensive proposition. In my Mom's case, her lifetime savings have been going for over two years now - and will not last much longer. Since her home had been sitting there for nearly a year unoccupied ... I decided to sell it months ago. The closing was two weeks ago ... and now her new bank account has enough in it to keep her at the Assisted Living Home for close to three more years.
Difficult decisions ...... maybe too hard for your Mother to make. In both of their best interests ..... you probably should have Power of Attorney for both medical and property. And that's a tough thing to face too. I know, I had to do it!
Good luck on your decison-making ... and to your family.