I promised a Wegmans review of the gluten free white cake box mix. I am sorry it has taken a bit longer than I expected to have the time to sit down an write this review. Life can become very complicated at times and currently I am experiencing one of those instances.
I have had to learn a great deal of information on unfamiliar topics in a very short amount of time in order to help a family member secure a safe and comfortable last stage of life. I want to share some of my story in order to help others who may face similar situations.
If you just want the review information on the Wegmans cake mix scroll to the bottom of this article but for others who may need help with elder care, terminal illness, Alzheimer's, hospitals and nursing home placement, what I have experienced may help.
My elderly family member who was happy living at home with Alzheimer's and several other medical issues finally reached a medical crisis point and needed admittance to the hospital several days ago. After many hours in the hospital ER he was admitted. The following day and after several test it was determined both bone cancer and liver cancer were present and due to the other medical conditions surgery and treatment would not be an option.
My advice: items you should carry on your person in case of an emergency include your medical insurance cards, allergy alert information, a list of all your medications and a emergency contact number. If you're in the emergency room dealing with a family member with Alzheimer's, stay with that person as much as possible. Keep the room quiet and dim the lights. Stay calm and worry free because they will pick up on your mood. If you carry around an iPad or other device that can play music, pull up the person's favorite music. We sang "Saint James Infirmary," "Blueberry Hill" and the national anthem over and over during the eight hour ER stay. I'm not sure what the staff thought but it did help. Ask for a few extra warmed blankets. Make sure they get something to eat. Once they are admitted into a hospital room bring in a few small items from home...something to pass the time. Often Alzheimer's patients like music, puzzles, children's stringing beads or small colorful blocks.
The hospital is going to be a big change and sun-downing may play a bigger role. Sun-downing is a behavior that occurs as the day turns into night. The person may become moody more confused and hard to handle. Once you have your family member as comfortable as possible then you need to turn your attention to the rules, regulations, paperwork and planning. I am grateful my family member had done much of the planning involved with end of life care. Items that are absolutely necessary for everyone; a will, trust, power of attorney and a health care proxy (with a second person listed on that proxy, in our case this was essential).
Don't be lulled into the belief you will be fine and treated a certain way because you have a great insurance policy. The hospital just wants to stabilize you and move you along. Our insurance states it will cover many weeks of stay but the hospital has been trying to place my family member since day two and after a week it is still questionable if he is stable enough for placement. He is having a hard time with how the drugs are reacting. The behavior of sun downing and being a fall risk means he needs a one on one aide. I am fighting for him to be stabilized before the move and can't believe how fast the hospital is trying to move him along. I have visited several nursing homes and the caseworker at the hospital has also called several homes and all but one has said the same thing. He needs to be stable and off the one on one person before they will consider him.
I went to visit the one nursing home that thought they could handle the situation and although the staff seem to think they could handle him they want to place a dying patient with Alzheimer's in a three bed room with two others. How is it safe to have a Alzheimer's patient who is in pain, up at night and a fall risk in a room with two others? I can't see how that would be good for anyone. As of today I have tried many options, first was to place my family member in a hospice house.
They will not take him without a one on one aide, the cost of that is 22.50 an hour 24 hours a day and is not covered by insurance. It looks like a wonderful place but they are not set up to handle an end of life case like ours. One other thing you should learn about hospice; room and board in a hospice house or nursing home environment is not covered under medicare only the medical cost will be covered. What is interesting about hospice is that it offers a great program including home medical help and support for the family but only during the day and not at night. If you're in our situation, hospice can't work. We would have to be up 24/7 or pay 22.50per/hour every night since the patient is only sleeping four hours a day.
Burnout of the primary care giver has already developed and that person is no longer capable of providing 24 hour a day care (that is why a back up proxy is a good thing). I am left with only nursing home care. The nursing homes do not want to pay for one-to-one care so they want him stable before he enters. It is a very frustrating experience. You need to know you do have options if the hospital is trying to push you along. If you are on medicare you need to be given an IM (Important Message from Medicare) a document that states what your rights are. The hospital also has to notify you that medicare will no longer be paying and then you must file (call ASAP) the number provided and state you want a review of the case. Medicare will pay during that review time.Currently that is what is about to take place and why I haven't been posting.
Now for the review: Wegmans vanilla cake mix. The directions are easy to follow, the cake came out of the oven smelling wonderful and looking like a traditional box cake. I felt the texture of the cake was a cross between angle foods cake and a traditional box yellow cake mix. I found the cake a bit too sweet but my son loved it. Over all it was a good quick box dessert. Today is my son's birthday so I am trying the GF chocolate cake mix. It will be interesting to see what his friends think.