Alzheimer's Blue

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Alzheimer’s Blues

by  - 


You’ve got your first diagnosis from a
specialist–a neurologist, but he/she said
things that perhaps shouldn’t have been
said. What to do?

Got another opinion. Maybe two extra
might soothe your wounded spirit, maybe more. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. After all, this is your beloved someone that was diagnosed.

You don’t have to sit there and take it like a man, with a stiff upper lip, suck it up,
deal with it and then get over it.

There’s salvation in them hills. And, now you know that there’s life after your
loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Been There. Done That.

Despite what you’ve been told, or have
read, or seen on the idiot box (slang for
television), there’s a light at the end of
the tunnel. You’re the one who turned it
on. It will keep burning brightly until
you’ve turned it off.

First thing, Don’t Panic!

Everyone has a first reaction to those
dreaded words that doctors and
specialists sling around: Alzheimer’s,
Cancer, Diabetes, Anorexia, Dementia.
The medical world is full of these buzz
words. However, the biggie here is don’t let it scare you to such a degree that you
can’t get past it.

Cause it doesn’t solve anything, except
the release of tension and anxiety.

First Things First

What’s the order of getting things done?
It depends for each one of us. The first
words out of the specialist’s mouth was: “There’s a good assisted living facility
right behind this hospital. Got and check
it out.”

Which we did. We spent the whole day
there. Right after I called my son and told him in a panic-stricken voice: “Your
father has second stage Alzheimer’s.”

Was that a relief? No way Jose, but it
sounded dramatic enough to catch his
attention. Which it did. He told me to
start breathing-long steady breaths and to calm down.

We went to the facility right behind the
hospital and was under impressed.
Remember, this is one of the Cadillacs of the assisted living world. We toured the
facility, but I didn’t get a warm fuzzy
feeling about the place.

Warm Fuzzy Feeling

Funny you should ask. We were told by a salesman that if we didn’t get a warm
fuzzy feeling about the facility we’re
looking at, it probably wasn’t the place
for us.

How many did we visit? Not many. Let’s see. We saw five places. Out of the five, we dissed two. One had an improperly
dressed sales person. If the sales person
looks unkempt and they’re representing
that facility, what does the facility really
look underneath all that sales pitch?

The second place didn’t grab us, and it
should have, but it didn’t. Don’t get me
wrong. It’s the Lexus of the bunch of
facilities that we saw. Everything
included especially the microwave oven, but we didn’t get that quilt feeling upon
first, second, or even a third inspection.

One did call my spouse who told me,
“this is the place!”

And after all, we were doing all of this
touring and visiting these places because our life took a sudden turn at the cleft of
the road. My spouse had to be
comfortable not only with the living
arrangements, but with the activity
arrangements and the atmosphere of the

Many Decisions

When you visit a facility, be aware there are many different floor plans. Yes, you
can downsize or buy an apartment, villa, cottage, house, loft, whatever you want to house your furniture in.

To us, kitchen space is important. We
wanted a larger kitchen than one that was the width of the dish washer’s door when it opened downward, about 12 inches
between counters with the sink at the end of the narrow passageway.

Room size is important as well as how
many rooms do you need. Some people
do downsize. Others cram in as much
furniture, pictures, and other stuff that
they can.

Yes, these facilities provide storage
lockers. Yes, these storage lockers are
inside and outside.

Depending on the facility, the amenities
are numerous. Most provide the standard equipment one finds in a house or
apartment: microwave, oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, cabinet space, closets, and a balcony or patio.

Some provide the unit with a stacked washer and dryer with larger washer and
dryers stored in other rooms for heavier
laundry loads like towels and sheets.

Make sure you bring a
list of questions with you.

We fell down on that one. Go google a
list of what to ask for independent and
assisted living. Allot of the questions are the same for both types of living, while
there are some differences.

Make sure you speak to a lawyer and a
CPA for various purposes: taxes,
deductions (medical if still applicable),
living wills, long-term care insurance,
life insurance, Medicare and
supplemental insurance. Find out what
you personally need to know about Estate Planning.

This is a PAYING enterprise you’re
becoming involved with. Many facilities will ask for an Entrance Fee, Monthly
Fee (find out what that covers), Meals
(some come with restaurants with 3
meals a day for assisted living patients.)

There’s a lot of important stuff that one
must know before signing any contract. Make sure you understand what you’re

This is Part 1 of additional parts to come.

Fasten your shoulder belt, it’s going to 
get bumpier!

Until next time… .