It’s been a long week. For most of it, I’ve been with Mom over at Presbyterian Hospital. Chest Pains, ambulance, emergency room and admitted for observance – the usual. Or at least it’s becoming the usual.
One of the first things her cardiologist suggested was assisted living, but he got the same reaction I’ve been getting over the last few weeks when I made similar noises. Then everyone who walked into her room had the same suggestion. The universe was definitely sending her a message. By happy hour, Mom had gotten it.
I didn’t know what the immediate future held, but I did know I’m traveling in mid-September. If she’s moving, I had to get on the stick. After the early morning scare and the day at the hospital, I was pretty ragged, but I couldn’t put off the urgent need to start considering assisted living facilities. When I got home, I sat down at the computer and googled “assisted living dalllas.” The first result was A Place for Mom.
I’d heard of them. A lady faced with just what I was facing decided the available resources weren’t resourceful enough. She started a nationwide referral service for elder living solutions. I’d found the place where Mom currently lives on my own, so I knew I could do this, but I didn’t want to. I filled in a few blanks and clicked “Start Your Search”. I had the “what can it hurt” attitude. If there was a way to make this easier, without adding to the cost of it, then I was all for it. I thought I’d get a list, but what they did was promise to call.
Here’s what surprised me. It was past usual office hours, but before I could make another click my phone rang. It was them. They were ready to help. As I answered all their questions, I was looking for my “Been Here, Done This” t-shirt. How many times over the last few years have I explained my Mom’s situation to a caregiver of some sort? I really wish I had a recording I could play for them. Problem is, the details change almost daily, but I get so tired of this phase of the process.
Then I got Frankie Radabaugh. If you contact A Place for Mom, you may get someone else, but Frankie is my new best friend. Frankie and I went through a list of facilities. She knew some I didn’t. I knew some she didn’t. We hung up and I had dinner. When I came back to the computer, Frankie had emailed me my appointment list. I was so relieved I wanted to cry.
Back in my do-it-myself days, I’d worn myself out playing phone tag and then I played the “tell me something about your Mom” game until I was blue in the face. It literally took DAYS to make a handful of appointments. Then when I arrived at the appointment, we spent more time playing “tell me something about your Mom.” In the A Place for Mom world, I showed up for the appointments and was in-and-out in thirty minutes, generally. How do you spell relief?
In the days since, I checked on a couple of places that weren’t on Frankie’s list, but she streamlined the job more than I can explain and the one’s that weren’t on her list probably aren’t going to be my answer anyway. Mom has a couple of more days in the hospital and then she’ll be in rehab. No one can make this decision for us, but without Frankie and A Place for Mom, I’d still be trying to set up appointments.
In case you’re wondering, A Place for Mom also handles dads, aunts, grandmas or whoever else you may need to find help for. It’s just called A Place for Mom, because the lady who started the company was looking for her mom. Maybe you’ll never be faced with a task like this, but if you are, start with A Place for Mom.