I felt that I was done with this Board, but I just wanted to report back briefly. DH has been registered for hospice, although he's still motoring in his geri chair (now a wheelchair). He is totally dependent on skilled nursing now. Hard to believe that we'll be starting his 4th year in the NH soon, and year 11 after his diagnosis with early onset AD. It's my understanding that he's not necessarily within the last 6 months of life, since it's so hard to predict with Alzheimers' patients. He is, however, showing signs of being at end stage (losing a lot of weight and on rare occasions not appearing to understand how to swallow -- liquids or food dribble back out of his mouth). He's also having seizures a little more frequently, about 1 a month now. The aides say that they think he might live another year or even two.
His facility has replaced the geri-chairs with wheelchairs since the geri-chairs were determined to be passive restraints. It has also cut back on the psychotropic drugs, as part of the Medicaid reimbursement issues.
Our oldest kid is out of grad school, and will be taking a job offer in another state. One is launched! Another is in grad school, and the youngest (who was in elementary school when he was diagnosed) is doing well in college. It breaks my heart, but they're about to have to deal with another challenge since I have been diagnosed with cancer. I have faith that it's beatable, although it's going to be another huge financial and emotional hit. I've been the strong one and their only parent for so long, that it's terrifying to think that I may not be there too.
Well, we never know what life will throw at us. I never would have imagined that my DH would be diagnosed with Alzheimers since it wasn't in either of our families. I also never would have imagined that I'd be diagnosed with cancer a few years before retirement. I'm not sure yet how this will affect my ability to support everyone, but I'll figure it out. On to the next challenge!