Sunday, January 19, 2014

Holidays and Facing Change

Holidays are stressful times for Alzheimer patients and their care partners and ours was no exception.  Whew!  it is with sadness and some relief that I spend the day packing and sorting Christmas decor.  Relief in a way that all the hustle and bustle is over, the visitors are gone back to their homes and hubby's back to his usual activities.  Sadness belongs here as well....sad to see family leave and missing them greatly, sadness knowing that this may be the last Christmas we have on this scale in this house .  I'm sorting out discards in the Christmas decor and have sent bags of family ornaments home with children and packing up the tree and outdoor lights and table decor to set aside for the next church garage sale.
It is getting more certain that we need to get out of this house but where to is uncertain.  Some days it feels like walking on quick sand not knowing what the next step may bring.  I just can't maintain hubby and do an even adequate job of looking after this house.  
While our son and his wife were here, we went and looked at the model of a beautiful new retirement facility beginning construction in a couple of months in our area, The Crossings in League City, a Methodist Retirement facility.  It would be perfect....begin with a small apartment in independent living, then if one of us needed assisted living, memory care or nursing care, we would just advance into another unit.  BUT, and it is a big but, it requires about $300K to just get in (you do get this back if you leave; if you die, it goes to your heirs) plus another $4K a month for the two of us and one cannot get in if already carrying an Alz diagnosis.  Geezus!  It's a great place to spend one's elder years if one can afford it. They can never kick you out of you run out of money....I guess not...they still have your $300K.  Another but:  it won't even be ready for 2 1/2 years.
So I think the alternate solution for now is to get us into an apartment that we can afford even if one of us should need extended care elsewhere.
Onto the next big BUT:  getting rid of 56 years of housekeeping, raising a family, pets, and all that goes with it is no easy task.  I have friends who have done it and know that I can but it is filled with days of decisions....keep this, toss that.  Hubby still has piles of papers, piles and piles of papers and makes very little progress in getting rid of them.  So it looks like son and I will be the culprits and gradually reduce them.  I am afraid to not go through them as there can possibly be some important documents stuck among them.  So I've set a goal of one stack a day...we will see how that goes.

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