I got to be home all of 5 full days before the phone rang telling my dad was having some unexplained bleeding and was too weak to stay alone. Arrangements were made to take him to the nursing home part of the facility so he wouldn't have to go to the hospital and I grabbed a red eye flight out of Vegas back to Iowa.
During my last visit, we had signed my dad up for hospice care based on debility. Many people are unaware that a pattern of decline including weight loss, falls, hospitalizations etc. can qualify someone for this additional help. With the frequent visits and medical monitoring some of those folks actually improve and are discharged.
We have spent 4 days in the nursing facility working through the questions about who was bathing - hospice or facility staff, dealing with their structure and sharing a room with someone who watches television all day. After extensive discussion with the facility social worker and considering the options, Dad came back to his independent apartment yesterday while we figure out a plan to bring in more help.
We are fortunate that Dad has some financial resources to pay for care, which many do not. Still, there are many questions and not as many answers as I would like. I've also discovered there is a huge difference between helping families with these issues as a professional and living them as a caregiver. I try very hard to be patient and use humor when things get tough but I'm not always successful.
Keep us both in your thoughts please.
P.S. I am getting some quality knitting time in :-)