Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recovery Costs

Care giving is tough. It can be draining mentally and emotionally. I was tired out after yesterday's visit with my aunt. Her temporary circumstance opened my eyes on the reality of how much care is needed post surgery.

She isn't able to lean forward, lift or bend down. Therefore she cannot bath herself or reach for a pot from her upper or lower cupboards. She cannot run a vacuum or go up the stairs or take the garbage out. Thus the temporary bedroom in the living room.

Canada has good social services. So she is getting help every few days for bathing and rehab. There is a program call "Meals on Wheels" that will deliver one full meal from Monday to Friday for a fee of $7.50 a day. She still needs to fend for herself for the other 2 meals of the day and on weekends.

It is very understandable that she is very frustrated and lonely. Having been widowed for the last 55 years and not knowing how to drive, her life is quite dependent on others as it is. Now it is way worse and embarrassing. There are no family members in the same city as her. The closest is 45 mins away and I am 1 hr 15 mins away.

Had it not been for the surgery recovery, she is otherwise spry and limber for a 85 yr old woman. She cannot wait to heal up and get back to herself again.

Yesterday's visit forced me to think about elder care and the cost of it. If she was willing to, she could pay someone to clean her home and do personal care on a daily basis. Also, have prepared meals delivered for the rest of the time if she did not wish to cook. All of these services cost money and it adds up quickly.

Luckily for her, a retirement residence/nursing home isn't needed. Should it become needed, they can be really expensive, upwards of $4500 per month per couple for full meals and activities.

We do have government subsidized nursing care housing but they are run like a hospital and are for people who have no income and cannot care for themselves. It seems like that the more independent you are, the more it costs to move into a "lifestyle community".

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