assisted living

I stumbled across the site for the Mature Market Institute today. They do an annual market survey on costs for assisted living, nursing homes, and stuff like that. It’s no surprise that the Bridgewater NJ area is one of the most expensive in the country for assisted living. The national average is $3131 monthly. Wilmington, DE is the most expensive, at $5219. Bridgewater NJ is $4354. I’m paying more than that for Mom, since she’s in an Alzheimer’s unit, and requires a pretty high level of care. I’ve got a claim open on her long-term care insurance, but I haven’t gotten an answer from them yet, so I’m paying for Mom’s care out of Dad’s retirement savings right now.

There are a bunch of other interesting (and sometimes useful) papers on their site. There are a couple on “discovering what matters” that look like they might be worth reading. And there’s a caregiver’s guide for Alzheimer’s Disease that has some good info in it.

This site is run by MetLife, so I’m guessing that there may be a certain bias on certain subjects, but everything I’ve read there so far seems reasonable.

Windows XP Mode

I’m installing Windows XP Mode on my Windows 7 laptop right now. It’s taking quite a while, but I guess what it’s doing under the covers is installing Windows XP under Virtual PC.

Oh, hey, it just started up Windows XP. Now it’s going through all the normal annoying things you get on a new XP machine, the warning about unused icons on your desktop, the warning about not having any anti-virus software, and all that.

Okay, so I played around with it a bit and it looks like your usual Windows XP virtual machine, only with a few differences. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious way to shut the machine down; you can only log off and hibernate it. And there’s a fixed user that is automatically logged in. I guess I don’t know much about Windows XP Mode yet. I’ll have to play with it some more.


I’ve mentioned previously that my Mom is suffering from dementia, and I’m looking to get her into assisted living. I just thought I’d post a couple of useful links for anyone in a similar situation. First, there’s a paper titled Understanding the Dementia Experience [PDF] that I found quite helpful in trying to understand what my Mom is going through. And I’ve started reading a book called Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Pay for It that seems to be a pretty good book, though I haven’t gotten too far through it yet. I have to say that my Dad did a great job in preparing for this, since he bought long-term care insurance for my Mom several years ago. The LTC insurance should help us out a lot.

WIndows 7 upgrade – Inspiron

There was a huge bombshell dropped at work yesterday, which I may blog about in a week or two after it’s all sorted out. And things are still going on with my Mom, which I may or may not blog more about at some point. Somehow, I found time to install Windows 7 on my Dell Inspiron while all this stuff was going on, and I’m going to blog about that, since it’s a lot more straightforward than any of the work or family stuff.

I used Easy Transfer (as mentioned previously) to back up my stuff, then did a clean install of Win 7, then used Easy Transfer to put the data back, then re-installed all my applications. This went pretty well. Most of the apps found their data, no problem. The one exception was Lotus Notes, which kept its data under the Program Files folder, so Easy Transfer didn’t save it. No big deal, though, since I had a fairly plain Notes install on this laptop, so it was easy to just go through the setup again.

So now I’ve got the 64-bit version of Win 7 Pro running on my laptop, with the usual tools installed — Office 2007, Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008, Notes 8.5.1, and a bunch of other random stuff. Everything seems to be working, though I haven’t really tested everything yet.

Windows 7

I’ve been so busy with family stuff, that I haven’t even thought about upgrading any of my machines to Windows 7. I had planned to upgrade my desktop machine and my Inspiron laptop to Win 7 Pro, and my Acer netbook to Win 7 Home. My copy of Win 7 Home hasn’t shown up in the mail yet, so I can’t do that one yet. And the desktop machine is too important for me to mess with it right now.

So, I’m playing with the Inspiron tonight. It had Vista Ultimate, 32-bit, on it. I’m replacing that with Win 7 Pro, 64-bit. I used Windows Easy Transfer to save my files and settings from the old install to an external drive. I got through the basic Win 7 install fine, and now I’m restoring those files backed up with Easy Transfer. Assuming that works out, then I’ve got about a dozen programs to install.

I do wish that there had been a reasonable in-place upgrade option to get me from Vista Ultimate to 7 Pro. Even if I had to stick with 32-bit, that would have been fine. Or if there was a way to migrate installed programs along with the files via Easy Transfer. Well, I guess it’s not a huge deal. I’m just hoping it’s all worth it. I never really had time to play with the Win 7 betas or RC or even the RTM off MSDN, so I don’t have much of a clue as to how it’ll work out. People keep saying that it’s a lot better than Vista, but I have my doubts!