The family meeting took place and it wasn’t at all what any of us expected.
Dad’s cognitive deficiencies are far more then we had thought. He will not recover from the physical constraints of the stroke.
So the question to us…where can he can go? Well, he can’t go back to the condo he has with his wife as she will not be able to physically manage his needs. Even with in-home care support, there would need to be two people to help transfer him from one place to the next. This really is not an option without putting my stepmom at risk. My sister and I do not live local to where Dad is so we are not available to help daily. Now what?
We are instructed to connect with CCAC (Community Care Access) and get a list of long term care facilities to review. The process is you go for visits to each home and then list your top 5 choices. Really? None of them are what we want because we want him at home or in our home with us.
My sister and I spend hours researching each possible home, arrange for tours and leave exhausted because we really can’t believe we have to put Dad in a home. We search for assisted living facilities close to us that may allow us to help daily to no avail.
This picture is so wrong to us on every level.
Before we identify where we might like him to go, we put our inspector gadget hats on and start hanging around the homes, talking to staff, residents and their families, to get a better idea of how things actually are at each home. We spend dozens of hours for weeks.
At the end of it all, none of the preferred homes are available and have years of a wait list. So Dad has to stay where he is until a spot because available.
We wait and let go. Let go of the idea that Dad will be home for Christmas. That Dad will be at his grandson’s wedding, that Dad will be at his granddaughter’s graduation, that Dad will be able to participate in all the family activities he always has. This will not happen. Any future family gatherings will be at a long term care facility that Dad resides in. What happened? This makes no sense to anyone in the family or to Dad. Heartbreaking.
I never realized that there is so much you have to let go of even when your loved one is still alive.
You have to let go of what you thought would happen. What you wanted to happen. What is supposed to happen. You have to accept the new life as it is. As sad as it seems. I guess we have no choice but to do this for our sake and Dad’s.