My father has had chronic back pain for years. Finally at the age of 74 he had a back surgery to scrape off some of the calcification he had in the L3 to L5 regions. I traveled to be with him for a week as he recuperated. The recuperation period went fairly well and we hoped for the best.
The next year things did not improve so he was going back into the hospital for a fusion operation of his lower back. I again traveled to be with him. Instead of operating on his lower back they found a problem in his lower neck area so they did that surgery instead. I was there for 3 weeks this time as he recuperated.
Six months after that operation we went in for the main lower back fusion. I traveled once again to be with him for 4 weeks. He was in a rehab facility when I left. He got out of rehab two months later. I went back to take him and the occupational therapist to his apartment. We made some changes to his surroundings to better accommodate his needs and to try to make maneuvering around easier. It did not last long. He would up falling and going back into rehab for another 2 months.
My father has always been independent. He handled his own finances, insurance, medical, drve himself to appointments etc. A few years before his surgeries he decided to sell his house and move into an independent living facility. Every thing was great there. He loved being a social bug and was a huge help to many of the residents there. The facility was only for independent living though.
After he started having surgeries though his balance and speech started to deteriorate. He started to fall. I would start to receive calls that my father was in the hospital. I would then travel to help. This started to wear on me. I was working full time and had to get time off in order to take care of him. I could see he was getting worse and was falling more often. I tried to talk to him about living someplace where he could get some care like an assisted living facility but he would have nothing of it. "I can live by myself" he would say to me.
The last time he fell the doctor at the emergency room in the hospital told him he could no longer live by himself. He had to have 6 stitches in his head but he had not broken any bones. The doctor also wanted him to get a wheel chair because of his balance problems. That was the first thing I did when I arrived at the hospital.
Now I had to find a place for him. We decided move him closer to us. I knew we could not put him in our house because we had stairs in front and back plus the extra bedroom was in the basement. Together that both my wife and I were working full time. I am a computer nerd though so I did not think that I would have a hard time finding a place.
Boy was I wrong! I did not know anything about the facilities. I found Adult Family Home, Assisted Living Facilities, Boarding Homes, Nursing Homes and In Home Care companies. There was a ton of information on the internet but I needed help and guidance! I tried a couple of "placement" agencies I found on the internet but nobody had a phone number for me to call. I had to fill out an email template and wait for a response.
Other information I found told me that I had to do a tour, what questions to ask etc. How could I possibly do that? I was not even in town! I started to feel stuck. I started to truly panic! I needed to find some help. Who could I call? Who did I know?