Long Term Care Lessons Learned from Losing My Daddy

It’s hard to believe it’s been a little more than a year since my Father passed away. As difficult was it was for my family, I find comfort in knowing we could plan how he spent his last days.

After 42 years of marriage, my Mom was left to make some hard decisions about my Daddy’s care. He’d had several hip surgeries after bad falls due to neuropathy, then a lung cancer diagnosis followed my lung surgery. Dementia had also set in. So my once strong and active Father was unable to walk or make any decisions about his care.

One of the most painful memories for me is that the first time my Daddy met my A.J. in 2010, he was in the hospital. My Father was recovering from surgery and was almost too weak to hold my 15 pound baby. But since I always have a video camera handy, I captured the moment Grandaddy met his grandson.

After several months in and out of a rehabilitative nursing home, my Mom chose at-home hospice care for my Father. It turned out to be the best financial and emotional decision for our family. She fed him his meals, nurses and aides came daily to check his wounds and vital signs. Me, my siblings, nieces and nephews were able to visit him anytime we wanted. His barber even came to our home to cut his hair and give him a shave.

At the end of 2010, we changed our holiday plans from our annual visit to my sister’s house in Maryland. Instead, we had Christmas at my parent’s home in New York.

Christmas Day was even more heartfelt because we had A.J.’s baby dedication (or what you might know as a christening) on Christmas morning. My youth pastor stopped by our home that morning to bless A.J. and dedicate him to the Lord. This way my Daddy didn’t have to be transported back and forth to church, which would have been very painful and tiring for him. I think that’s the last time my Daddy held A.J., his youngest grandchild.

Things moved so quickly between me and my husband with our engagement, wedding and pregnancy all within three months of 2009, we hardly had time to talk about switching our bank accounts and choosing A.J.’s guardians let alone long-term care.

Part of me thinks it’s something I’ll face sooner than my husbandm since I’m nine years older than him. But age shouldn’t really be a factor. Anything can happen. A car accident. A sudden illness. They can all make us face a long-term care decision.

Have you told your loved ones how you’d like to spend your last days? At home or in a hospice? Are your long-term care plans written out for your family members to refer to in case you’re not able to communicate?

Disclosure: This post is presented by Genworth Financial 

where you can learn more about mortgages and planning ahead for your family’s future. 

All thoughts & opinions are 100% my own.

About Joyce Brewer

Creator & Host of Mommy Talk Show. Emmy award-winning TV journalist.Wife & Mommy; Mom Blogger; Social Media Coach; Long Island, New York transplant living in Atlanta, GA. Follow Joyce on Twitter @MommyTalkShow Author of Use What You Know: A Business Idea Guide for Moms featuring interviews with mompreneurs who created businesses using their skills & backgrounds.

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  1. Somethings you never want to think about or plan for…this is one of them!
    Krystyn recently posted..The lost one (The sappy one) | WW

  2. This has actually been a topic of discussion in our family lately. We just recently lost my Grandmother, which myself and my parents were caregivers for. It is an overwhelming topic and one we are all taking a little more seriously now.
    I am so sorry for the lose of your Daddy! I am so tickled though that you are the video queen and have memories captured to show A.J. As he gets older.
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