Sunday, July 12, 2009

Multiple Sclerosis and Long Term Care: PROXIMITY

Knowing what I know now, what do I consider the most important factors about Multiple Sclerosis patients in long term care facilities?

Families are at their most vulnerable when wading through the exhaustion, emotions, and confusion of home care vs care facility decision making. Foresight is elusive, on the other hand:

“Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.” Billy Wilder

Over the past five years some factors have become more important than others.

Proximity tops our list!

Continued involvement with family, friends, and home is quintessential. Proximity keeps everyone just a hop, skip, and a jump away. “Out of sight, out of mind” can too easily become a trap of convenience.

In our story, Patti’s care facility is 11 miles away. In 17 minutes I can be there to pick her up for an outing, bring her home for the evening, or simply include her in running around.

Proximity is also about a facility’s neighborhood. Transferring to and from different vehicles may get challenging so it is important to have nearby activities. In our story, it is an easy 15-20 minute wheelchair push through an adjoining park to a mall with a movie theatre, restaurants, and shopping.

Most important to the definition of proximity is YOU, family and friends and how you CONTINUE to be a part of their life in this latest chapter.

Do not expect any facility to replace family. Rumor has it that St. Peter checks his list at the Pearly Gates against the visitors’ lists from long term care facilities.

Life gets busy, carve your involvement in stone. My goal, for example, is to include Patti in 4.5 evenings per week each winding down with me preparing, transferring, and tucking her into her bed myself.

Caring is never about a building it is about people.

For further information, visit Care Facility: Transition to care facility from home care.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
web site:
musings: Patrick Ponders ...


  1. good suggestions about picking a care facility; accessibility and easibility should definitely be 2 key considerations that would help ease the care giver's mind when he/she comes to this point of placing a loved one in a facility; great advice Patrick :)


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