And on a more personal note...
My dad the strong, smart, capable of just about anything guy he has always been is at 91 struggling. He has had various minor illness's, falls, trips via ambulance to the ER and stays in rehab that were meant to be weeks to get stronger and back home, but have turned into months in which we are not so sure of the out come. When all of this started his mind was pretty sharp. This is the guy who taught himself web site design and quantum physics in his 80's. But this has taken it's toll and he has periods of confusion and being overwhelmed by the smallest things.
My dad has always been extremely strong willed and determined to live alone and for the most part that has worked until now. My husband and I had always assumed that when he couldn't live alone anymore he would live with us. Sadly it has become clear that the kind of care he would need is not possible and that our home has too many obstacles for him to be safe.
After getting him released from rehab this week and attempting to go back home it became pretty clear that this was not a safe option for him. After 24 hours in which we never left him alone, he went back to the hospital and into a rehab closer to us. I'm hoping this rehab can better evaluate and if possible help him and us to make the best choice about where he should live. More then anything he wants to go home and in his determination and confusion is convinced that it can happen. Where he lives 24 hour home care is not an option.
Getting old sucks, and in this country it's made even harder. I have a good friend going through similar issues with her parents who live in Canada and the differences are glaring. I have made multiple calls to various "experts" and agency's all who can offer little help or real information. My friend calls one person assigned to her father who can offer a variety of solutions and information. Also the options are more varied and and nicer. But we are here and have to navigate what we have. My dad worked hard but spent moat of his life as an artist and lived the way he wanted to which did not offer large monetary rewards. He provided the things his family needed and had enough money to live simply the way he wanted later on. He didn't end up with enough to cover the large costs many situations for the elderly require which makes this even harder.
So I his only child am left to navigate all of his care, advocate for his needs and try and find the best and safest situation for him. Luckily I have an amazing husband who deeply cares for my dad to help the[process but it still is overwhelming.
We are hoping that his desire to live at home is possible at least for a little bit longer but most likely it isn't. I'm hoping that he can come to this realization on his own ans accept it but he his fighting it and not clear enough to see the problems. He remembers when it was easy for him and thinks it can be again. The last thing I want is to be the one that forced him into a situation he doesn't want and watch him deteriorate into depression. But I have to accept the reality that it is a distinct possibility.