This morning we attended the family meeting for Dean's dad, Ben. The final decision is that he must now go to a nursing home. It wasn't an easy meeting and his mom is having a very hard time of it. To ease the transition, the doctor will request short-term placement first to give Mrs. Smith a little time to see if she can organize the proper care to have him at home but it's understood that this is just a stop-gap. He will never come home again. He now requires 24 hour care so even bringing him home with us wouldn't be possible. The cost for that kind of in-home assistance would be about $4,000/month. Even in assisted living.
It's hard on a lot of levels. There is the financial aspect which we might like to think is the least of the issues but in truth, it's a very important issue. There's worry about him in general and what his life is going to be like. And of course there is the very real fact that this is the end of life. The best case would be three more years but given his age and his health, there is likely a year left to him.
Dean is fast asleep on the couch now, emotionally exhausted. It's doubly draining to deal with his own sadness for his dad and then to add concern for his mom and needing to guide her into decisions that she doesn't want to make. Naturally he is also the recipient of constant phone calls from relatives wanting to know what's happening and to give their opinions.
I wonder if this isn't the most difficult time we'll have? Transition is so hard. Figuring out where to move his mom and how to budget for her care and his father's. Once this part is done, the likely next step will be funeral arrangements. Somehow I think it will be a different kind of sadness though, because for us grief is for a moment only.
Difficult days are ahead, but joy will come in the morning. Some morning in a better someday.