Archive for category Hospice
I recently spoke to a woman who has a friend in an assistant living. Here is a story that was relayed to me about the assisted living….
At this assisted living, most seniors are of sound mind- yet, are unable to live independently to do some other disability. When someone from the assisted living dies, the staff keep it a secret. None of the seniors in the assisted living are told. Perhaps for privacy reasons, or to not make them worry. Of course the seniors figure it out- as they inquire to staff or another resident, “Where’s Mary?”
My first thought was to say- this is silly, that these seniors have lived their whole lives dealing with life and death and they aren’t children. Surely, the staff can sit them down and tell them gently that Mary died…. maybe take a few minutes to recall some special things about her. My thought was that the seniors are able to handle it- that they are stronger than we think.
When I asked my husband, he disagreed and said that staff should spare the residents heartache and that it was better for them to find out on their own. He said their mind is probably already centered too much on their own mortality and that they don’t need to be reminded that people the only leave the facility by going to a nursing home or dying.
What do you you think?
A nurse in palliative care (Hospice) reported five regrets people tended to voice before dying. They are listed in the article above. If you want a life that has fewer regrets and is more fulfilling; you can have it. It simply requires some self-reflection and a desire to make changes where necessary. Choosing a life that is more fulfilling, will not only impact you, it will also create a life that is more fulfilling to others around you. It’s a win-win situation.
1. Be true to yourself and honor at least some of your dreams. Do you want to visit the Grand Canyon or Europe? Make a plan- while you still are in good health.
Years ago, an acquaintance of mine shared the story of her mother who died at age 46. It was such a touching story; I still recall it today. Jo Brown of Anderson, S.C. was a mother of two who was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. She was a Christian and wasn’t afraid of death and didn’t want her children or grandchildren to be scared either. She had a credo “God doesn’t make mistakes. I rest my soul in Him.”
In the last three months of her life, Jo Brown was very open about her sickness, allowed her friends to help with tasks around the house, and even visited her “resting place”. She has left a tremendous legacy of love and courage to her family and others.
Wow, what a touching story about a 54 year old man with terminal cancer. If this doesn’t bring tears to your eyes, I’m not sure what would.
As those with Down Syndrome age, so do their parents. There is a phenomena where those with Down Syndrome age rapidly in their “middle age” years. Often, they are aging at the same time as their senior parents. An elderly parent may or may not outlive their child with Down Syndrome. If they outlive their child with Down Syndrome, they may face an enormous loss, because they have never experienced an “empty nest”. Their child may have lived at home for up to 60 plus years.
If a child with Down Syndrome outlives both parents, he or she will have to transition into a new home and routine; being cared for by a sibling or a group home. After being in the same environment for so many years and having a routine they are incredibly used to (along with the grief of loosing a parent), is it easy to understand how there can be tremendous anxiety, sadness and stress. This was a very interesting article.
Do you own a long-term care insurance policy? There was once a belief that this system would work- insurance to pay for time spent in a nursing home. However, as the Baby Boomers age, the long-term care insurance market has shrunk. In 2000 there were 100 companies that sold this insurance; in 2013, there are only a few dozen. Major ltc ins. companies have “abandoned the market because they cannot make the product work profitably”. According to this article, 70% of Americans will need long-term care at some point as they age; however, only 10% of Americans have ltc insurance.
This article discusses the need to create other solutions to pay for long-term care (like the private market becoming more involved). Currently most of ltc is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid (for those with low income). One solution was for an individual’s life insurance policy to be turned into a long term care benefit (instead of the money being left to a surviving spouse).
Other solutions (not in this article) that have been discussed is the government cutting, or limiting its coverage to seniors. (For example, no feeding tubes in certain scenarios).
If only Americans had more of a futuristic mindset, vs. a “what I want now” mindset. Unfortunately, most people won’t save for that rainy day, month or even years that may be spent in a nursing home. So many people are not eligible for Medicaid and can’t afford to pay for long-term care out of pocket. What is the solution?
The family credits the strong faith (Catholic) of an Ohio couple married 65 years, who die only 11 hours apart. They were able to be buried at the same time. It is a sweet story.
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