I’ve had a hot day. The AC guy finally came and I need a new compressor which means that I need a new air conditioner. I hope they come soon to replace it, I hate hot. I had the kids for most of the day so that made it tough to clean the carpet, but I finally got it all done. So, I’ve been busy all day.
I seem to have offended a lady with my earlier comment. I never meant to offend anyone, maybe I just said it wrong.
No, I have never lost a husband to death but when I took my vows, I knew that it was an option. If I had known that he would have been so violent and dishonest, I would have never married him. I went into this marriage knowing that one of us would outlive the other...I didn’t expect what happened. I think that a successful marriage is one that lasts until death. That’s the point of taking the vows, to stay together for life.
I only have one friend who’s marriage lasted until one of them died. She was the friend of mine who married one of our patients. He was a quadriplegic and thirty years older than she. Her mother asked me to try to talk her out of marrying him, but as her friend, I didn’t think that it was my job to do that and looking back, I’m very glad that I didn’t.
She married a paralyzed man who couldn’t give her children and was more than twice her age when they married. No one thought it would last, we all knew how much she wanted kids.
But, all of the people who said that her marriage wouldn’t last ended up getting divorced so that just goes to show you, you can never tell.
I don’t speak for anyone but myself and as awful as it must be to bury a spouse, I could have handled that much easier. As I said, it was part of the deal that I agreed to. The other stuff, on the other hand, was never part of the agreement.
My friend eventually remarried and had a child. She had so many problems with the pregnancy that they decided to adopt their second child from China. Those are the good only things to come out of this marriage. Her husband turned out to be a drug addict and a compulsive liar and he WON'T keep a job. Simply because he was her own age and he appeared to be a pleasant man, everyone assumed she would have a happy marriage. Nobody tried to talk her out of marrying him at all. But almost every single one of our friends who tried to talk her out of marrying an older man who was in a wheelchair have all divorced now. Go figure.
Speaking of wheelchairs, my friend May is about to be put into a nursing home. Her daughter has had her in their basement (They converted the basement into a handicapped accessible apartment.) But, since May has deteriorated, it’s no longer responsible to keep her there. Her daughter feels so incredible guilty and May is very angry, but it is the best thing for her and her daughter. The daughter has a family of her own with small children and they can’t afford 24 hour care which is what May needs at this point. So, that’s going to be a sad, sad situation for everybody involved.
The guilt feelings that go along with placing a loved one in a nursing home are hideous. “Tracy” , the daughter, has young children and a husband so she really doesn’t have the energy to care for her mother in her home. She asked me if I had any idea how long her mom could live and I told her that it’s so hard to say, Mays’ heart is in good shape and a good ticker can keep a person going for a very long time.
When the families of my patients ask me something like that, I can’t give them a very good answer of course, so many variables enter into the picture. I had one patient who’s family asked me that question and I was telling them that it depended on the patients heart. They informed me that the patient had a pace-maker and that made the question even tougher to answer, a pace-maker will keep a person alive for a lot longer than they need to be alive, considering the conditions that some of them find themselves in.
I can’t imagine having to put a parent in a home, even if it is the best thing for them. It has got to be one of the hardest things that a person could go through. The best that you can do in that situation is to make sure that you have thoroughly investigated the home that you are considering. Unfortunately, the squeaky wheel gets the oil whether it needs it or not, so bitch, bitch and bitch some more. No staff member wants to hear you whine so do it! They will see to it that your family member is well taken care of. Also, here are some things to look for when searching for a nursing home:
1. Odor. Some odors are to be expected and they are usually taken care of quickly so no odor should last too long. On the other hand, a urine smell indicates that many residents are left to sit in wet pants.
2. Staff to resident ratio. There should be no more than 30 residents to each nurse and 8 residents to each CNA.
3. Dining room. Are the residents allowed to eat in their room or are they forced to go to the dining room? And when you are looking in the dining room, are the staff being patient with the residents as they feed them? Are they seeing to it that the resident eats their entire meal or are they so rushed that they take the food away before the resident has a chance to eat? Do they mix all of the food together and stick that mess in the resident's mouth, or do they feed them their meat, vegatbles and strachy foods seperatly?Are they offering water or something to drink?
4. Speak to other family members, they are usually very happy to tell you about the facility.
5. Are the call lights going off constantly? More fractures are caused by residents who need to go to the bathroom and no one answers the call light, so they get up to go by themselves and end up falling.
6. Bed sores, how many do they have? 5% is about as good as you can expect. IF they have any more than that, ask some questions.
7. Activities. Are they appropriate for the different residents? Is there a totally alert patient stringing pasta when they could be knitting or doing crossword puzzles?
8. Diapers. Will the home put your loved one in diapers even if they are not incontinent? Most do. As soon as the family leaves, they slap a diaper on the resident and then, before you know it, they ARE incontinent!
9. Look at the staff. Are they rushed? Are they pleasant? Do they touch the residents (Gently, on the shoulder or back) as they pass or just ignore them?
10. Are the men shaved and do the women have their hair combed? I’ve seen matted hair on humans and that is despicable. Teeth are another one of my big problems, so many staff members don’t bother brushing the resident’s teeth.
The residents should be wearing season appropriate clothing and they should look at least somewhat groomed. They should be placed in a pleasant location, not lined up and down the hallways. The staff should appear pleasant and they should speak the same language as the residents. Too many residents complain that they can’t tell the help what they want or they can’t understand what they are saying. Ask a few staff members how long they have been working at this facility, a large turn over is a bad sign. The place itself should be clean of course, but don’t put too much stock in that, it SHOULD be clean, there are so many other things to check out as well.
Well, the landlord just called and told me that he is replacing the entire AC/furnace system so I am really pleased about that. The bad news is, they can’t get here to do the job until Wednesday! Oh well, as I said, it is saving me money in electricity. If I get too hot, I’ll just go for a ride and enjoy the car AC.
Well, it’s time to feed my face so I am going to sign off for now. Have a great weekend and remember, Sunday I am doing another trivia game, so check back early in the afternoon to give me time to get home from church.