Thursday, December 21, 2023

Long Term Care -- Prisons in Disguise?

When you no longer have the ability or the means to pursue life interests and you find yourself in a Long Term Care facility . . . 

Let's look inside where then and now are existing in a time warp because WE don't see reality . . . 

Until it's thrust upon us . . . and that's too late.

Come along with me to visit Mom's old SNC/LTC facility or drop into one and really look around, listen and learn

Mom stayed in her room; sat in one place; busied herself with what she had or found to do; and, waited ...waited...waited
to be told what to do, when to do it and how to do it. 

And this was when she was highly capable; it became far more challenging when she began losing capacity and capability.

Have you been told there will be "choices" and  many "opportunities"? Not in the "lower cost/lower class" mostly populated by "lower income producing and qualifying for Medicaid" residents.

No one really cared. 
They were understaffed and few families visited.

Mom had to initiate and show an interest, we were told.

She was taken to what she considered "mindless" and "childlike" activities that held no interest and she was bored.

The only computer in any type of accessible area was "off limits" and no resident was given permission to use it at any time. 

The computer waiting for an employee of the facility who had been given the ability to use it yet it sat in a room that was available to residents for "special occassions" by reservation.

We did not have the financial means and Mom's "monthly check from Social Security went directly to the facility. 

Entering LTC, Mom lost the ability to control any of her SS. 
She was given about $30 a month and that was quickly taken from her in "services" from the facility. 

We provided for Mom, both daughter and I working at low wage jobs with the goal to provide what we could for Mom and keep as much of our "prior life" functioning -- a roof over our heads, food on the table (no Food Shares back then), the lights and a/c or heat available even if only at the lowest levels, and more.

Mom "went into" a LTC not through our decision but through the manipulation and control of a "Church Lady" who came into our life.

One positive outcome was since she was "self admitted", I was able to finally get back into Mom's "good graces" after several months and she shared how the facility really treated her and we started searching for a "better place".
 
I looked long and hard to find for a facility that Mom qualified for -- we had to have her in Medicaid because she had no resources, no ability to pay, at that time, $3,000 to $5,000 a month for a shared room/bathroom. In today's marketplace, that figure can be even higher.

Those marketing pieces and glossy pictures and videos don't portray the reality of almost every SNC/LTC facility. Under staffed, run by people who focus on the bottom line (even the Not For Profits) and constantly besieged by more and more paperwork and less and less time to devote to services -- they are as "shelved" as the people they serve.

If you have the ways and means there are "better places".  But few in the Greatest Generation achieved the high financial status then required now to secure "good care".

Take a moment and stop, think and consider. 

What If YOU had to enter a Long Term Care Facility . . where would you begin, what would you look for, who would make the decision with you? 

I'll focus on the "newest" Senior Living promising a "continuation of life as you know it" and requiring up front huge deposits and some with "getting to know you" deposits with a few social events for a sizable "hold".

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