Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To Be Honest

You know, to be honest with anyone reading this- I really wish that things would be consistently copeable. I have been doing pretty well, and it seems life throws me curveballs that derail me from my quest for zen.

My sister showed up yesterday. Haven't spoken to her since my birthday last July. She literally just walked through the door. I was home sick, and she seriously, just opened the door. No phone call, no knocking- just barged in. She then proceeded to gross me out in ways I don't want to vent publicly and stole every last avocado on my tree. I am trying to get over my anger about this.

Grams has been asking everyday when she can come home- and it kinda kills me inside to have to go through this everytime I see her. We had a talk and whenever I ask her questions she gets upset and thinks I'm picking on her. Honestly, asking "well, what do you want to do?" is not a mean question, but it puts the problem right where she can see it.

Grams bill for this month at Regency will be about $2,600. Next month it can either go up or down depending on what services she needs (she will have some taken off, and some added...plus all of her "extras" like the hair salon are added on that bill. I came home and did the math to see if would be cheaper to have her come home.

This is what I came up with.
$900 for rent (she pays my dad because she feels it's fair to pay for his house)

Now- here's the kicker- to have a caretaker come in for $18 an hr. (average/below average price) for only 5 hrs a day (10-3 p.m.) to watch her 5 days a week (so, 25 hrs per week) it would cost a whopping $1,800 a month.

This doesn't include food or housekeeping.

So that's right, the grand total is $2,700. $100 MORE than what it would cost to live at Regency. Doesn't that make you sick? It makes me sick.

When I saw her today and we talked about coming home I told her that I would need a caretaker to come in for at LEAST that amount. If something happens to her- stroke, heart attack, a bad fall, etc. She will be incapacitated again- and we will be back at SQUARE ONE. Now that I'll be attending CSUSM this fall, I can't miss class or fail a test because I am taking care of her. I'm sorry- but I will never go through that again. It was so stressful and exhausting to be a "single parent" of an 89 year old. It has made me slightly bitter and resentful- and I'm still trying to put it behind me.

Grams is not covered for "caregivers" with her insurance. When we spoke today she was really upset because she was going to have to spend her savings. I asked her- "What did you think would happen if you got ill? You knew your insurance didn't cover it." I don't think she, nor my father understood healthcare costs. So they leave it to the 21 year old to FIGURE IT OUT? Now I'm irritated again. ugh. I remember when Grams had to leave the Nursing Facility because her insurance stopped covering it- Dad said to try and find a place for $50 a day. I hadn't even done the research yet and I laughed in his face. What is he thinking? I get paid more than $50 a day- a nursing home is more like $100-$200 a DAY.

But anyway- sometimes it baffles me that she didn't think that eventually she may need assistance. What did she think would happen? I try to be sympathetic in thinking that many of us don't imagine ourselves with a disease or disability in the future- it's unfathomable. But aging? When you buy "old people's" insurance isn't that one of the things you think about? People get old....duh. You break hips and stuff...that's life.

I think that Grams thought that being home would save her money. She was upset and said that she would be dissapointed that the money she saved for Dad and I would be spent- but again, I had to ask her, "what did you think would happen when you got older? How would you take care of yourself?" I think, in her mind it was easy to hope that she would have a quick and easy death, that insurance would cover everything, and it wouldn't be so expensive. Life, as we know it, is expensive. It is not cut and dry- nor does it ever happen as we plan it.

I am a firm believer that everything works out the way it should, but I am not so blindly optimistic to believe that everything wraps itself up in a tidy little package.

I know this because it never does.


Andy al-muquds said...

Insurance companies are the devil. I can say this from experience.

Steven, Deborah, Ryan & Doggies too! said...

Oh Shannyn, I feel for you! I wish you could just be a "college kid", live in the dorms and not have much to worry about besides what you're going to eat for lunch on any given day. I wish the family didn't expect you to grow up so fast and be responsible (you'll have the rest of your life to do that). You've tried to do things the right way and it seems like that is less than appreciated. Need I say that you deserve to be a carefree college kid not someone elses full time caretaker. I guess they don't realize just how hectic your life will become this Fall once school starts. No worries! Shannyn is super woman (so they seem to think)! You're in our thoughts and prayers....always