My 89 year old mom has end stage Alzheimer's and has recently begun receiving Hospice care. We brought her over 1000 miles on the train more than 2 yrs ago to be here so we could care for her, but lately my husband and I have been thinking - for a lot of reasons - about taking her home now.
She still owns her home (since 1949). Her grandaughter has kept the place up.
Other than us, what is left of her family is 'back home'.
Hospice said they would handle transfering her care to the facility there.
Taking Mom home would mean she could die in her own bed, and without all the hoopla and expense of using two funeral homes and air transports. It would be a relatively simple matter to get her to the family plot where she'll be buried beside her parents and my dad.
I don't think taking her home on Amtrak is ideal. We'd have arrange the 'handicap sleeping car' weeks to months in advance and I don't know how much time she has. And we'd have to drive an hour to the station, and then again another two hours once we reached our destination.
Taking her in the car woudn't work because she needs to lie down. Same thing on an airline (I would never subject her to traveling by air these days).
Medical transport? I'd have to rob a bank for that. Even the least expensive ground transport I came across cost over 5K.
So - I am thinking of renting a small RV - this is what medical transport company uses for their 'basic' package. Fold out the bed, add some additional padding, find a way to 'belt her in'. The trip is about 13 hours with stops, and husband and I can take turns driving.
A very preliminary look indicates i can rent one of these RV's for a week for less than $1500 + gas. We could drive down in a day, get Mom situated, (have to figure out whether to have a new hospital bed there or transport the one she has now) and husband can return the RV well wthin the week.
Additionally, we can transport more safely the elderly cats at the same time once I figure out the best way to secure them. (They don't do well in cars, and I've been worried about them surviving such a long trip).
Any input, suggestions, other ideas?