While on my bike ride this morning, I thought of writing about all the hospice options that are out there. (Lest you think I'm still hovering over that margarita from a few days ago.) For some reason I've gotten into biking and recommend it to any caregiver who wants to survive and thrive. The time on the bike, plus the concentration it takes to not get hit by a car, is a really good way to take your mind off the Alzheimer situation. It's respite for the mind, not to mention good for the body.
On the way to New Bern yesterday, I stopped to visit the new Crystal Coast Hospice House that has opened outside of Morehead City. This special place has been the focus of many fundraisers over the past few years and is a much needed asset to the area. Since Jerry is officially on hospice again, I wanted to see what this new place was all about.
Hospice is a service that is provided primarily by Medicare in the end stages of life. It is only available when no life extending measures are going to be taken and palliative care is requested. It is designed to provide round the clock care and support for the patient and loved ones, relying on input from physicians, nurses, chaplains, and social workers in formulating a plan of care to relieve suffering. This multidisciplinary approach allows the palliative care team to address physical, emotional, spiritual, and social concerns that arise with advanced illness. Jerry, now, has provided to him, a physician, a registered nurse, an aide, a social worker, a volunteer, and a chaplain. These people are angels on earth!
This Hospice House is a beautiful, state of the art, new facility and I was greeted by a tender nurse who had actually seen me before. She had previously been a hospice nurse at his facility and remembers EXACTLY the smile across his face when she saw us hug one day. (Ya never now when someone is watching.) Anyway, I thought that was such a "godsent" message from her to relieve any anxiety.
As we toured, I got the sense of a refreshing peace. The walls were lined with beautiful original artwork that has been donated. (Which I am definitely going to do.) There is a living room, a small chapel, a family dining room for visitors, an outdoor covered patio and even a play room for children. The house has two wings: the acute care wing and the residential care wing. Each room is private and has a hospital bed, a sofa and chairs, tv, and a private patio with table and rocking chairs. The "homelike" atmosphere is designed so loved ones can spend the night or weekend.
For those in the residential care wing, the cost is $75 per day. A minimal cost for such a facility. The cost of the acute care wing....is nothing and is completely paid for by medicare/insurance. Amazing!
For now, this is not an option for Jerry. At least I don't think it is yet. He still gravitates to be near people. His current facility provides activities, social interaction and a common area...even if he is "glazed" over. The Hospice House has no activities or common area for the patients and each room, being private, would, I'm afraid, bring him loneliness.
Its good to know that this IS an option if I choose in the future.
For now, Jerry's facility, with the extra layer of visiting Hospice care seems to be working. This added layer of service will enable him to remain at this current home if his needs become too great. The "elderlies" on the front porch, keeping their eyes on him, keep everyone on their toes too.
Just wanted you to know. Hope this info helps.