Friday, March 28, 2008

Turn, turn, turn

Life and death, young people and old people are blurring together lately.

My aunt died last week after struggling through cancer for the last year or so. My uncle has progressive dementia, so her illness was really difficult and confusing for him. Now that she's gone, my cousins are trying to figure out options for care for their father. Right now he's in a geriatric/dementia ward of a nearby hospital and they're working on finding the right combination of medications for him. He'll be moved to a more permanent residential arrangement soon.

I chatted with my dad about assisted living facilities, about the range of quality of care and the expense of it all. It struck me how similar these choices are to looking for daycare, since we've been in the thick of that lately. Better ratios, better trained staff and less staff turnover = higher costs, which must be true for assisted living too. And consistency is important for both kids and adults with dementia: disruptions can be really distressing.

My aunt's memorial service will be held mid-April. Interestingly, my sister-in-law's due date is also mid-April. Maybe this is perfect timing.

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