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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 03/06/12

My three siblings and I want to give our mother, who has been diagnosed with stage 4 metastasized liver cancer, the best possible care for her remaining time on Earth.  Instead of having her stay in the senior facility where she is now, we are considering renting a house near a beach or on a lake with 24-hour nursing care. We would be more than happy to pay $3000 to $4000 (what the facility is costing now) if we knew that our mom could look out into this grand world to see something beautiful and serene and allow us the "peace of mind" that there was caregiving with her and hospice nearby when the time came.
We are wondering if other caregivers have tried something similar.  Our mother knows she needs care, but wants to be in a place where she can  enjoy her time as much as possible while having the proper care necessary and available. 
Sincerely looking for ideas,

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Name: Constance Dvoretzky
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Date: 03/15/2012
Time: 07:34 AM


It sounds like a wonderful plan in principle,depending upon your mother's condition. I emphasize completely with your desire to make your mother's life more pleasant. My 96-year old mother has needed 24-hour care for some years now. During those years she has also had three hospitalizations (2 surgeries), 3 stays in a rehab center, & 2 stays in a nursing facility. All of those were most difficult, even under the best circumstances. I knew that I had to, if at all possible, find a way that she could stay in her home. So I hired 3 care-takers, with one of them living in the house as well. Having the comforts of home has made a huge difference. The expense is huge, however. I am working many extra hours to be able to afford the care, which is close to $5000 per month. And during the last year, my mother has developed dementia, which is progressing quickly as of late. It has been very difficult for the care-takers and family, but I still think that being in her own home is the only possible solution. Your idea of going to a beautiful place seems like a wonderful idea. I'm sure you have thought of all the difficulties you would encounter. The most important would be proximity to her doctor, treatements, friends & family. Good luck with your plans for your mother's happiness. I send you all my best wishes and good thoughts.

Name: tj
Location: wv
Date: 03/13/2012
Time: 09:18 AM


While I have not tried this, I think it is wonderful that you and your siblings want to make sure your mother enjoys the time she has left. I would suggest besides the 24 hr nursing care, that you and your siblings allow your mother to do what she can for herself, if she is able to walk and wants to go on walks, allow her, don't try to shelter her but spend time with her and let her know you appreciate all she has done for you, ask her to allow you to do the same for her. As children, we expect to bury our parents, sometimes it seems to come all to soon. Let her eat what she wants, when she wants, look into hospice for pain management if her physician is reluctant to prescribe the necessary medicaitons to keep her comfortable. Talk with her, say things you may not have before, you won't have a better chance.

Date: 03/06/2012
Time: 03:15 PM


As beautiful as this solution sounds, it would seem to me that your mother would be isolated and away from her family unless the beach home is located close to at least one of her children. Someone mentioned using Skype to stay in touch. Although this is an option, when her illness renders her bed-ridden, she may not want or care to try to look her best when on Skype. I would feel banished if my family chose to send me to a remote location. Perhaps doing this for a short time would be a beautiful way for her to appreciate her world, but ultimately I think she would prefer to be with her family at the end of her life. When my sister-in-law took in her mother who was in the end stages of liver cancer, her mom was surrounded by her daughter's family in addition to being supported by full-time aides. She died peacefully in full knowledge that she was loved and well-cared for.

Date: 03/06/2012
Time: 10:14 AM


I have not done this personally but I think it is a beautiful idea and exactly what my own mother (and I for myself) would want. I do agree that she might miss friends or other family that would not be able to visit often but in this electronic age, Skype and other technology can bridge the distance. I think it's important to talk with your mom about her wishes (as much as she's able) and then make your decision. Good luck to all of you and God bless!

Name: Jean - Boomers 'r Heroes
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: 03/06/2012
Time: 09:16 AM


This is the most well-thoughtout caregiving plan I've seen yet. What a wonderful mom she must be to have raised such loving children. It would be helpful for her to be able to drink in a great view everyday from her "home". May God bless you in your hour of need as you help ease your mother into her next phase.

Name: Nancy K. Linn
Location: Austin, Texas
Date: 03/06/2012
Time: 09:01 AM


I felt the same way about my Favorite Aunt and Uncle...Having been in Heatlh Care for over 20 years..I taught Emergency Medicine at the EMT level for 6 years and worked for the only Dr. in the county for 8 years as a nurse, lab tech,and X-ray Tech. They were in a Nursing facility that my Uncle founded ,in private quarters. They longed to be at home..their own home, where family and friends could gather, spend the holidays with them etc. After careful consideration I moved in with them until their passing...24- hr a day nursing is not easy but can be managed with help from the family. Hospice helped so much towards the end...I felt very privileged to be a part of their lives during this very important stage. Family came and spent the weekends and Holidays with us at the lake house just like they had always done. It was one of the most rewarding times of my life. All people deserve this type of lets them stay independent and in charge as much as they want to be. Sincerely, Nancy K. Linn

Name: gail
Location: midwest
Date: 03/06/2012
Time: 06:54 AM


what a WONDERFUL gift this would be for her. and, for you to spend time with her in such a setting. helping to add peace and beauty to her days. we have a property in a peaceful area on water as well. it DOES make it nicer during this time. one cautionary measure is a rock solid emergency evacuation plan in case of bad weather in any form. else, yes- it's a wonderful idea. it's working here!

Name: Kathy
Location: NH
Date: 03/06/2012
Time: 06:03 AM


What a lovely idea. My only concern would be not taking her away from her friends that might provide love and support at this time. If she has friends that visit often it might be hard to be taken away from them.



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