Monday, July 10, 2006


My great aunt is 92 and doesn't have any kids of her own, so helping her out falls upon my mom, her sister, and me. All four of us live in different states, so we are in the process of sorting out who can do what. Right now I am on the road, making my way to Chicago with my aunt. We would like to get her moved into an assisted living situation, as she is starting to have paranoid delusions. It might be dementia, or it might just be that she is dehydrated. But in any case, if she continues to call the police every day they might have her taken to the hospital, evaluated, and then declared incompetent and placed in care that someone else chooses.

So our goal is to convince her to exercise her choice while she still can.

I keep imagining myself in her shoes. What would it be like to give up your home of 50 years, and go live in an institution? What would it be like to know that you are never coming home again?

None of my grandparents needed this kind of care. They all died at home. So it is new territory for my family.

We did find a great resource for you to file away in case you might need it some day. It was put together by the National Institute on Aging, which is a part of the National institute on Health. It is specifically for those giving
long distance care. It offers a helpful perspective for those of us who don't live in community with our elders.

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