Tomorrow, we're moving Dad to skilled care at Edgewater, a retirement community west of Jordan Creek in West Des Moines. He's not ill enough to stay in the hospital and is too frail to go home, so the premise is that during his stay at Edgewater, he'll receive physical-therapy services and other attention he'll need to regain his strength. If he grows strong enough to go home, hallelujah. If not, we'll have a decision to make after 120 days.
The goal for most of us, I think, is to keep our parents in their homes as long as we can. Thanks largely to my sister, who showered Dad daily and managed his medications, we were able to keep him home until the day he turned 91 and a half. The cold, hard fact is that there's no way he can return home now ... he is too frail to walk, and his wife, at almost 80, can't be expected to transport him to and from his bed, the bathroom, etc.
He's had two other stays in skilled care, once at Iowa Lutheran and once at Arbor Springs. Both times, he was able to regain his strength and return home. This time, he's lost a significant amount of ground, so who knows. My prayer for him -- and for all of us -- tonight is that tomorrow will go smoothly, and that he'll understand that we are not, as he said tonight, "putting me away somewhere."
I'm sad, and I'm tired, and I realize this is not about me. So I'll close by asking anyone reading this, if you're inclined to pray, to say an extra one tonight for my dad's peace and comfort.