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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Difficult Decisions

 We cannot all be decision makers. The Occupy movement has to have leaders. I fear they keep the names of their leaders secret so that no one person can be targeted by the corporate financial opposition, blamed or even imprisoned or murdered.Even of course, the membership would blame the announced leader for decisions they oppose.
In a family, the parents have to be the leaders; they can elicit suggestions from their children or their parents and from outside sources, but the decisions for the welfare of the family must be made by the parents.
In a residential treatment center for disturbed adolescent girls where I served as a psychologist-consultant, we had a team who discussed the issues that arose, but the decisions were finally made by the director and the assistant director who lived on-site until the out-of-state governing body "went corporate" and reduced the power of our local team to act on issues effecting "our" center.
The assisted living community where my husband has been a resident for the past eight months is owned by a corporation which owns over 500 of these facilities, treating a range of populations with varied degrees of need for service. They have policies and spreadsheets and fees for service which increase as the skills of the resident decrease.The sales agent explained all of this to me before I decided to place my husband when the psychiatric hospital said he needed to be in a safe, secure environment.
But now that my husband needs additional services I understand they will not hire another worker to provide these services. The burden will fall on the existing workers, who are stretched to their maximum already. I have been advised the community "could" transfer my husband to their memory care facility a half hour further away when and if they feel they are not able to meet his needs. On the other hand, they say that moving a person with dementia will shorten his life, as an adjustment is difficult if not impossible for him to assimilate.
There is an assisted living community across the street from where we are now that is owned in part by the on-site director who is a registered nurse. They are constructing a new building next door, which will house a 19 bed memory-care only unit which will provide the hands-on care my husband now needs.I have been eliciting suggestions and opinions from my family and friends. A move will be hard as my husband still wants to be in a place where we two could sleep together; he will fight any alternate solution. Do I wait for the time when he no longer will recognize me or care whether he can "hold you and touch you whenever I want" or do I move him in February when the building opens so that he has the self-care skills help that he needs already?

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