Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Extended Care Facility

My friend who was hit by the car last Friday was moved Sunday night to an extended care facility to begin rehab. I went over today to bring her real food. She described what they served for lunch - mystery fowl, with some strange breading on it, and vegetable mush. Her roommate is deaf as a post, which, considering how rowdy our crowd can be, is a good thing.

Yesterday, one of our friends went to visit. Some elderly gentleman with a walker, went over to her, and grabbed her breast. He grinned a toothless grin and shouted, "I got her boob, I got her boob."

She'll be there for 28 days, because she can't put weight on her hips -- no standing. She intends to have a party July 30. Knowing her, she will. She says her physical therapist is built like a rock, as buff as a guy can be, she wants to jump him. She's 67, and he's in his 30s. Why not, I say. Why not?

This place is depressing, sad, scary. For her, it is temporary. None of us wants to wind up in a place like this, and so my friends and I all discuss purchasing a group home, where we can care for each other on into our dotage. My cousins often talk about doing that as well. The idea of a commune for seniors is very appealing to me, one where we all contribute something -- from growing the vegetables, to cooking, to managing the bills -- I lived on a Kibbutz in Israel many years ago and hated the lack of privacy. Today, the older I get, the more I see the real value in that kind of support system.

Most of us in America have become quite isolated. Long gone are the days when people lived very close to family, often had extended family living with them. That is no longer the norm. The very nature of family has changed.

How does a group go about starting this sort of thing? What do we do? What are the steps? Because at this point, I am seriously looking at it.


sumo said...

Whatever you do you'll be required by law to have an Administrator. It starts at a home with 6 residents only and then goes from there to the next number of residents above 6...that becomes assisted living btw. Between needing an Administrator and nursing staff that balances out the numbers, you'll have to provide nutrition...for that you will need the assistance of a dietician that will provide menus and they have to be posted in a certain way. Do you want me to go on? It isn't worth what you'll go through with State regulations...and every year the laws get more stringent. Oh...yeah...you'll need a maintenence guy too...and an LVN to administer meds and shots. CNA's (certified nurse's assistant) aren't allowed to do this. Cooks and diswashers...oh yeah!

DivaJood said...

Sumo, even for a commune? We'd need an administrator for a commune? Friends of mine in Chicago bought a three flat together -- there were three couples. No administrator, no dietician, but they share communal expenses (maitenence).

This might be depressing.

pohanginapete said...

W.r.t. what Sumo's pointing out: It seems bizarre that a country seemingly obsessed with freedom should place so many restrictions on your living arrangements. I suppose they're intended for good reasons, but, still... Go ahead and do it anyway.

Your friend's attitude towards her physio cracked me up. Excellent! With an attitude like that, I'm sure she'll recover well. Oh, and I must ask — whose weight is she not allowed to put on her hips? ;^)

DivaJood said...

Pete, my group of friends is meeting tomorrow night to start talks on what we intend to do. I don't think any of us see it as much more than a loose living arrangement. But I could always say forgetaboutit and move to Nelson and be a potter.

As for my friend -- she can't place her weight on her hips -- she can't stand. As for anything else, well, I saw the PT guy, and he's absolutely gorgeous!

sumo said...

I waxed poestic on the subject because you used the term "group home"...I'm sure you can do something on your own and share expenses if that is all. But a REAL group home has ramifications altogether different... and that is what I was referring to. A few years back I had a license for "Aministrator" of an Assisted Living facility. (1-49 residents) I stopped working before I was able to use the license. But I have worked in the business in a different managerial position, so I know quite a bit about it. As long as you and your friends don't get involved with any city or county regulatory situations you should be able to carry it off. But if one of you has health problems...and a relative sticks their nose into the living arrangements and alerts them, you could have the State stick their noses in and it would all be over. They then would start slapping you with regulations and possible citations...although the citations would probably not go anywhere at first as long as you complied with them from that point on. They have laws up the ass about everything... and I am serious.

DivaJood said...

Sumo, it is good information. We have a meeting tonight -- and I will bring up what you've pointed out. So often we go into thing with a sort of blind, clueless energy -- we're all products of the 60s, and I did live on a kibbutz so I have done communal living, but I think we were all thinking of a very informal kind of thing.

On the other hand, I might just sell everything, move to the Pacific Northwest (or New Zealand) and throw pots and live as a crabby old lady. Who knows?

sumo said...

Excellent Idea! I'd love to get out of this country too...I think the left is fast becoming extinct...and I don't want to be ASSimilated into the right.

DivaJood said...

Sumo, after our meeting last night, I know that I can no more live with this group of friends than I can sing high opera.

Paris is always a good idea.