Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 15, 2013

Dear Tatum,

Sunday was better than Saturday. The goodness of a day is measured in how many pairs of pants Grandma goes through: on Sunday it was only two. I have noticed I've started using "we" for everything. I've even said, "We are getting a colonoscopy on Tuesday." Where does that tendency to use "we" come from? I'm sure some linguist knows. Grandma is getting the colonoscopy; I am not. 

Have I mentioned that Grandma has to take laxatives for the procedure? I understand the necessity, but am not excited about giving laxatives to my incontinent Grandma with diarrhea. Thankfully, the doctor went easy on us and she doesn't have to do the typical regimen. Just a pill the evening before and one the morning of. She also has to fast, and this should make things a little easier (for me, not so much for her). There will be less to move since nothing really stays.

Monday was a whirlwind. The Home Health nurse, Katia, came at noon and was here until almost 2:00; she was only supposed to be here for an hour. She went through paperwork and assessed the house and Grandma. She also cleaned out Grandma's wound on her ankle from when the screen door attacked her over a month ago. One of the problems with being 95 is that things don't heal well. A small skin tear has turned into a hole in her leg. It didn't help that French Prairie ignored it. I'm not making this up. It was clearly getting infected and they only changed the bandage but didn't clean it. This nurse cleaned it out and it looked much better within a day. 

Katia was a great help, but James was the star of the day. He came from a Home Care agency I'd contacted. He explained so many things! Like the difference between Home Health (curative & rehabilitative) and Home Care (stable & predictive), and that Medicare would pay for Home Health but not Home Care. He also looked at Grandma's Long Term Care insurance (LTC) policy and explained everything about it and how to deal with them. One of the most important things he stressed was that we want a caregiving agency that has people local to Grandma working for them. His didn't, so he recommended two others he thought highly of who did. He came and talked to us for over an hour and gave us incredibly useful information at no cost. It was overwhelming yet awesome. 

One of the most overwhelming parts: the LTC insurance doesn't kick in until Grandma has personally paid for 60 days of care. If she has care for 12 hours a day (which may or may not be sufficient), it will come to roughly $15,000 for two months, then the LTC will pay for $136 per day, still not enough to cover everything with the minimal amount of care. Talk about overwhelming. When I heard this, I thought it was the thing to do, but as I write it down and take into consideration the care Grandma needs, I'm beginning to think an adult foster home may be the best option. This is the constant conversation in my head: what is the best situation for Grandma? I am going to present her with the living and financial options and hope she chooses the foster care. At least that's what I think at the moment; it's sure to change.

On another note, I sent you and Rice a package today. I hope you like it!



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