Tag Archives: Nursing home

How Long is Too Long to Have to Wait for Subsidized Long Term Care?

20 Jun

According to Central Toronto CCAC, the nursing home my mother most wants to go to is still filling applications from 2003-04. Yes, that’s right. The wait time for Baycrest’s Apotex Centre Jewish Home for the Aged is TEN YEARS! Sad to say, but with all my mother’s ailments, she has a better chance of landing a spot in a cemetery than she does a bed in the place most-likely to meet her cultural and spiritual needs.

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Progress

15 May

So we showed my mother the nursing home for which after 21 months she had finally come to the top of the waiting list. And she said NO! Eventually she agreed. But her change of heart came only after many harsh words were hurled in all directions and cooler heads were called in for support.  There is no doubt change is especially difficult for the elderly. However, anyone who knows my mother can confirm she has been difficult to deal with long before tangles and plaques started making a home in her brain. The dementia has only added another element of diffculty.

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Forget the Dress (and the Shoes), Say Yes to the Bed

10 May

I’ve been off-line for a while. Not because I haven’t had much to say, but because I’ve been overwhelmed. I had planned to spend this rainy day catching up on my writing and getting some posts ready for next week.  But my plans have changed and this is why:

It finally happened. The long-awaited phone call from CCAC. A room has become available for my mother in one of the three long term care facilities she has been wait-listed for since August, 2011. Now she has until Monday to decide. Or perhaps I should say my siblings and I will have until Monday to persuade her. Apparently the CCAC still deems my mother capable of making decisions, even if her children and her doctors do not.

The so-called Golden Years have not been kind to Gertie.

The so-called Golden Years have not been kind to Gertie.

My brother and I will be taking our mother to see the home this afternoon. We expect the drive to be tense. If mom says “yes” she will need to be moved in within five days. If she says “no”, her name will be removed from all three waiting lists and her file with the CCAC will be closed (yes, that’s how it works for all long-term care applicants here in Ontario).  As far as nursing homes go, this one is really nice. It’s in Richmond Hill and not too far from where she lives now. It’s also fairly close to my brother’s home. It has 160 beds and is in a relatively new building.  Additionally, the overall resident population is Jewish, a significant issue for my mother.  She thinks it’s “too far” and she can be difficult, very difficult. So the next few days/weeks are going to be very interesting.

Gertie really needs to say YES. Can you feel my stress? Stay tuned, because I’m back.

The New Sandwich Generation

18 Mar

I know of a woman who lived in a nursing home here in Toronto. This woman was 106 and had dementia. Her adult daughter come to feed her mother lunch and dinner every day for almost 20 years. One day, the visits stopped and the daughter was never seen at the home again. She was simply too tired to continue her daily routine.  The daughter was 88.

The label “sandwich generation” may be relatively new, but the concept of families caring for young children and aging parents at the same time has been around for centuries. What sets this sandwich generation apart is it is  the first generation in which a large majority of women work full-time outside the home. This is significant because women are far more likely than men to assume care giving responsibilities. Also noteworthy is our parents have a much higher life expectancy than their parents. And with advanced age comes the likelihood of more complicated health issues.

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Lewy Body, How I Hate Thee

22 Feb

In honor of my uncle and on the 1st anniversary of his passing…….

You may not have heard of Lewy Body Disease but next to Alzheimer’s it is the second most common type of dementia-related illness in North America.

Individuals with Lewy Body dementia can be paranoid as well as have hallucinations involving people, children, and animals. They are also likely to have tremors and walk with a shuffling gait similar to what you would see in someone who has Parkinson’s disease. It is difficult to diagnose and frequently mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease.

Uncle Leo, Uncle Benny, and Uncle Hy, circa 1956.

Uncle Leo, Uncle Benny, and Uncle Hy, circa 1956.

The three gentleman in this photo were my father’s brothers and my favorite uncles (the woman with them was my grandmother).  They’re all gone now.  Benny was diagnosed with Lewy Body disease at 91. But it’s possible he had it long before he became noticeably unwell. While Leo was previously diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s likely he really had Lewy Body disease too.  Leo died in 2011 two months shy of his 90th birthday. All but his last six weeks were spent at home with family.

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