Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Old soldiers never die

… but at least in Texas and New Mexico, we seem to take care of them well

For the past two weeks, Pat and I (especially Pat) have been dealing with the needs of an old soldier whose health has been failing. It's been hard, especially for Pat. He's had to make some health-care decisions for the old soldier, and, once the old soldier's health condition improved to the point that he didn't need to be in the hospital, he was still not in good enough shape to go home, so Pat has been working with the hospital social worker to find a suitable nursing facility.

Pat and Gerald have traveled to the south end of Texas to help with coordinating care for the old soldier. They have more than one mess to deal with; they're working on sorting out about 100 pounds of paperwork that they have found all over the house, stuffed under furniture and in various other random places. In addition, it's been a while since anybody took out the trash.

The old soldier has insurance coverage that will pay for nursing-home care for a while, and he's now on a waiting list to get into a veterans' home, where he will get care for the rest of his life, if he needs it (although Pat hopes he will get better and be able to return to his own home—I have my doubts about that).

I was catching up on back newspapers, and there was an article about selecting nursing homes. It had a link to Medicare's website, in which nursing homes are rated on a scale of one to five stars, based on quality of care. The home where the old soldier is currently residing gets only so-so ratings, but the veterans' home gets really good ratings; there's a good reason for that waiting list.

And then I checked out the veterans' home in T or C, near the lake. I figured that if we could bring the old soldier there, it would be easy for Pat to visit him, and it would also give us more reason to come to the lake, so we would go there even if the weather prediction wasn't for good sailing weather, and if it did happen to be good for sailing, we could go sailing.

It turns out that the veterans' home in T or C is one of the very best nursing facilities in the country. On a scale of one to five, it scored a five on all of the criteria used to make the evaluation. I'm sure there's a waiting list to get in, but those old soldiers who do get in are going to get the best of care.

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