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 It's too far to the toilet 
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
Transitional Care Unit

My rural cousins call this "swing beds" -- in their hosptial, rooms can be designated for TCU use as needed (they swing between being hospital rooms and transitional care rooms). Around here they are usually a dedicated wing or floor of a LTC facility. They are for short term use when the patient no longer needs the full services of a hospital but needs more than could be easily provided if they were to be discharged to their home or LTC facility. The patient "transitions" from the hospital to whatever comes next. Since the room is needed immediately when the patient is ready to leave the hospital, you typically are sent where there is an open bed. Hence my experience with 3 different TCUs. If your temporary use was for respite instead of transitional care you would presumably have more choice, especially if your schedule was flexible.

But realistically, geography sets limits on your choices, doesn't it? My rural cousins typically have one option, if they want to stay within a reasonable driving distance. Their challenge is how to make the best of what is available to them. I have the additonal challenge of selecting among the many options available to us.

Maybe someone with more in-depth knowledge of TCUs can give you a more technical definition...

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:15 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
Okay, now I get it! Yes, now that I am in a rural area, like your cousins, I am accustomed to the term "swing bed." No need for anything more technical. Thanks!

Julianne


Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:59 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
I'll leave it to your imagination to conjure up the picture that came to me when my cousin first told me that my aunt was moved to a swing bed! :oops:

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:16 pm
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Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:46 pm
Posts: 610
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
Yes, I can imagine, because it threw me the first time I heard it up here, too.

Julianne


Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:41 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
Thanks for educating me. :lol: I wouldn't have known.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:55 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:32 am
Posts: 215
Location: Kalispell, MT
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
Jeanne

I guess I meant the facility chosen for permanent placement. Which would also give the opportunity to evaluate the staff and services.

I have no clue why I started this thread since my husband is already placed. Some of the tales the CGs on this forum seem almost like horror stories and I can't help but wonder how necessary it is.


Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:19 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
Yes, Gail, it would only make sense as a "trial" if you could use the same facility you intend to use for placement. My TCU experience was a different kind of trial, of placement in general. I had no choice in where Coy was sent.

The concept of using respite care as a trial placement is an interesting one.

Do all care facilities offer respite care? All I know is that the ones I've heard about around here are out of my budget range. I'll have to ask Coy's case worker whether any respite care would be covered.

What do you mean about wondering how necessary it is? Placement? Horror stories? Hesitation about placement? Trial periods? I didn't follow that part of the post.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:27 pm
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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:32 am
Posts: 215
Location: Kalispell, MT
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
I meant that some of the CGs take care of their LOs far beyond anything I could handle, and I wonder if they are hanging on to "normal at home" when placement would be a better solution. In my case it was.

My husband will sometimes say he wants to go home, but the two times I have taken him out, I ask if he wants to go get supper somewhere and he opts to go back to the facility. And he's been there less than a month.


Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:13 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
gailshef wrote:
some of the CGs take care of their LOs far beyond anything I could handle, and I wonder if they are hanging on to "normal at home" when placement would be a better solution.


Ah, yes. I'm sure that I wouldn't make all the same judgments that other CGs make about placement or even about end-of-life choices. I respect each CG's decisions. Each of us has to make the best choices we can in our LO's interest, in love and in light of the reality of our own situation, beliefs, and options. Whether the decisions are objectively really best by some external standards is not something we can judge. Each of us has to do our best and move forward.

A forum like this is invaluable in showing us what options are available, what factors other CGs consider as they choose an option, and the outcome of that choice. This is infinitely better than making our choices in isolation. But ultimately we do the best we can to make decisions ourselves.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:33 pm
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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 969
Location: Ocala, FL
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
Thank you, Jeanne, for your clear and beautiful statement regarding the choice we make. I know the expression 'Never explain; your friends don't need it....' However, it is my choice to keep Dale at home deliberately for several reasons. Dale is the love of my life and I know he would allow me to stay in our lovely home if the roles were reversed.

My father died at home at 92 in the loving care of my mother. My cousin had a brain tumor for 18 years and his wife cared for him at home. A very close girlfriend had a caregiver live with her mother in her own home until she died. I've seen many friends do it. I know it can be done.

Certainly cost figures into this. Those who chose the 'nursing home' option pay more than $200.00 per day for that care. That can drain the family bank account in a hurry. It often means your LO is in a shared room with someone whose habits are not the best.

I am 75 and I do not have a job to go to every day. Those who place their LOs in a nursing home are often working and caregiving is too much.

And finally, those who place their LOs in a nursing home usually visit with them there often ... for long hours... anyhow. I avoid driving at this point. My car goes to church, the grocery, and to the bank. I don't need to add to that.

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Leone Carroll (75); wife of Dale (75) who passed away March 23, 2011


Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:17 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 1978
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
I dont think it really matters if a person stays home or is placed, each of us has our own reasons for what we do , most place because of the physical stress it places on the caregiver, I am thinking that probably is the main reason, many don't place as most can't afford the cost and see a way in being able to cover the costs, To me the most important job of the caregiver is being a strong advocate, no matter where our LO is.

I was very clear about keeping my LO home because of my own reasons and it was hard and looking back on those days did I really do the right thing for him, I guess we will never know but the one thing I do know the end result is always the same !

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Irene Selak


Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:17 am
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
Posts: 227
Post Re: It's too far to the toilet
I keep my MIL at my home because she can afford a private caregiver during the day. Because of this I am able to continue with my career and at the same time closely monitor her condition. I am actually less stressed because I don't need to make my daily visits to the ALF. I hope to keep her here as long as I can, but realize that the day will come when I must place her in some sort of SNF. I greatly admire all of those spouses and other family members who put their lives on hold to care for their LO. My heart goes out to those who have had to separate from a life long partner when they can no longer care for them at home. We can only do our best, but sometimes our best is not going to be good enough. Don't feel guilty when the trip to the bathroom is too far and you need to think about the "dreaded nursing home". Yes, it may be inevitable, but we need to do what is best for our LO. Somebody has to be the best advocate and that is us. God bless you all.

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:26 am
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