I am sharing this life lesson about my experience with nursing facilities, so it may enlighten those that are facing this decision soon.
As many are aware of, I was taking care of an elderly gentlemen for a short time until it became apparent that he needed 24-hour care to handle medications, breathing problems, bathing, a failing mind, and a host of other issues. This person had nobody in his family that cared for him. He has 3 children and 2 living siblings, but they all walked away from him years ago.
Some things to consider before placing someone in a nursing facility in the United States:
- Hire an attorney and seek Legal Guardianship. This will prevent anyone at the nursing facility from attempting to gain control over the person. Without this, you may have nothing to say about their healthcare, finances or funeral arrangements.
- Complete a Durable Power of Attorney for finances and another for Healthcare. I found out that these 2 documents can be totally ignored in the State of Missouri, if the person named on the documents is not a relative or does not have Legal Guardianship.
- Check out facilities without notifying them in advance. Some things to look for when you are visiting potential long term care facilities: Does the place smell when you walk in? Are the residents clean and appear happy? Do they have daily activities for residents? Can most residents leave the facility for outings (shopping, walks, etc.). Does anyone have restraints on them (hands or feet)? Do they have a visiting Chaplain or Pastor? Can you bring in their favorite pet for a visit?
- Do a background check on the facility looking for problems with resident care, misplaced resident funds, insurance fraud, etc.
Back to the part where elderly gentleman was tossed like yesterday’s garbage by his family.
We should all be grateful that the Lord doesn’t walk away from us, because he’s angry at something we said or did 30 years ago. All we have to do is come to him with a repentant heart, and ask for forgiveness. There are people that never forgive any transgressions from others, and they take that bitterness and anger to their graves.
John 3:16 God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.
People that die without forgiving everyone, can’t expect to find their names written in the book of life.
Colossians 3 13 Be tolerant with each other and, if someone has a complaint against anyone, forgive each other. As the Lord forgave you, so also forgive each other.
Matthew 6 14 If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.