Today is a day I will not forget. It is October 5, 2012.
At 10 o'clock this morning my brothers and sisters and I will be taking my father to Camp Hill Veterans' Hospital in Halifax.
Two weeks ago Dad sent in his application and he heard this week that there was a room available for him.
Since my mother died five years ago, Dad has very slowly become more and more immobile. Also he had a few 'episodes' and ended up in the hospital for a week each time to determine what had happened. Each time it was his age that caused either a mini-stroke or his blood pressure to drop very rapidly.
Over these five years we, the family, have been there for him in whatever capacity we were needed. In the past year and a half we were there with him overnight. You see, there are six of us living in the area and we all pitched in as much as we could.
As the months moved on this year things were getting more demanding and Dad required someone to be in his house all day and all night. We hired an agency to fill in the days.
In June of this year I wanted to find out some information from DVA (Department of Veterans Affairs) and during that talk with a 'councilor' I was told that Dad qualified for immediate entry into the veterans' facility here in Halifax.
Because he was in WW2, he qualified for care.
I approached the family about this. There were mixed reactions.
Dad is 96. To say that everything ran smoothly would be a lie. The emotions involved in considering and approaching a parent about their future in a 'nursing home' emots all sorts of reactions.
Suffice it to say that here we are today witnessing another 'page' in our father's life. I see this as a positive move for him and the family.
He will be very well-taken care of, with all his needs being met. This 'home' is touted as one with 'platinum care' for veterans. It is federally funded, so there is no lack of money to keep it 'top notch'.
It will be a difficult adjustment for Dad. It is my hope he will see and appreciate the benefits for himself and his family.
As a social worker for this facility told me in July, the family can now get back to becoming his children again, not his caregivers.