And that is what Gawande emphasizes in this book: choice. The cases he relates are all about allowing the patient to decide: should I have another surgery when death could be less than weeks away?
In Washington D.C., the number one city on the list, a resident could spend $3,000 on care services and $2,787 on their mortgage, and still spend less than the $5,933 it would take to live in an assisted living facility.
That... that thing, that whatevertheycallit, they roll in here with all them meals stacked there and they deal 'em out like playing cards. Looks stupid. Why can't I have solid foods? Can't I eat a sandwich? Think I'm 90? Don't have no teeth?
I've been spending a lot of time in hospitals and nursing homes. I can't walk through the facility without slowing down and looking an elderly perso...
While many might consider Medicare the biggest milestone impacting America's elderly population, one could argue that the championing of elder care began with Helen F. Holt (1913-2015), former secretary of state in West Virginia, who passed away earlier this month.
"Mom, where are you? Why is your phone off? I've been trying to get you for hours!" my son said in a voice filled with urgency. Here is what happened....
The truth is that, when you're dealing with a hospital, you have to be vigilant and firm -- right from the very beginning. As crazy as it sounds, you cannot assume that the hospital knows what it's doing or has your parent's best interests at heart.
A senior living facility called "Symphony Square " recently opened up in my neighborhood. It doesn't have a symphony. Nor is it square. So what's with the name? I'm guessing that a consultant was paid big bucks to come up with that enticing moniker. Perhaps the same outfit that named similar local facilities "The Quadrangle" and "Sunrise at Haverford."
Standing back and looking at the situation more objectively, however, it becomes clear that sometimes nursing home placement is the most loving course of action for the person with Alzheimer's.
Even though we are no longer best friends, we still love each other and I will show Clare affection for as long as she lives. And I know that Clare will show me affection for as long as she is able to do so.
I must learn how to get on with my life without having Clare by my side. I must accept that Clare and I are no longer a "we." Those "we" days are gone. I know that.
And I don't know about you, but I want to keep my loved ones in their homes as long as possible. Let's start to change the way we think about caregiving in a way that doesn't force one to sacrifice her (and hopefully his!) own health to help others.
There's a wide array of housing options available to seniors, but what's appropriate for your mom will depend on her needs and financial situation. Here's a rundown of the different levels of senior housing and some resources to help you search.
Evaluating a nursing home for your loved one is as fraught as buying your first home, but without any of the joy. Here's quick advice for when you are doing your own evaluation:
Over the past five years of living with mom's dementia, I have seen time and time again that despite the complete confusion and craziness that comes with this disease, my mom's brain may not remember the details, but her heart always does.
As a member of her team, I helped Ethel live the rest of her life in the way she had envisioned for herself and detailed in her Life Plan.