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Caregivers

My occupation for twenty five years dealt with nursing homes, both from the nursing home side, then from the regulatory side with the state agency monitoring nursing homes and helping them with educational issues.
Two types of families are prominent in my memories: the people who had not been close to their family member and were seeking care as quickly as possible, and the families who had always felt like caring for their loved one(s) was duty, something common especially in the minority community. With limited beds licensed for Alzheimer's patients in most nursing facilities, private pay clients had first chance of getting a bed, as the qualification process for Medicaid often took a month or more. I would often have caregivers for future patients check in weekly to make sure they were doing everything right in their applications for aid. The stress was obvious, but at the same time, there was already a mourning for the time when the day arrived that care would be entrusted to strangers.
Many private pay families used all the resources owned by the patient and then would begin the process of applying for aid. Once aid was established, we often saw less of those relatives.
This is NOT to say that all moneyed clients were cool, detached; but while working in a small town far from any large cities, I saw many Alzheimer's patients who came great distances when facilities were available nearer. Embarrassment seemed to play a part. Again, I have been retired for some time and hope the advent of the Internet and access to information on mental and health problems have helped families dealing with these issues.

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