Mother has now been in hospital for more than three months, but she will come home at last on Friday. In July she was home for a three day trial, but on the last day she insisted that she wanted to go back to hospital because she was tired. However, soon she was asking again when they would let her go home.

Once in the hospital mother was put in a queu for assisted living. Last week a place was found for her, and I took time off from work to go to see it in Lahti. The location is excellent, and the website of the facility says that the flats are 37-52 m2 in size and that "each room has a balcony." I was hopeful. In reality they rent rooms separately, and each room does not have a balcony. The room offered mother was tiny - our walk-in closet is bigger - and without a balcony. It was the bedroom of a one-bedroom flat, and in the living room there lived another old woman - a plastic screen served as her door - and mother would have shared the kitchen and bathroom with her. On the website everything sounded nice, but if the relationship to truth also in other matters is similar to this, it's better to stay away as long as possible. However, the meagre staff seemed nice, and I don't doubt it's a safe home for those who are truly helpless.

The payment system is a bit complicated, but basically mother would have paid a part with her own income, and a part with a voucher. As I estimate it, and I'm really not well informed about these matters, the lot: the 9 m2 room, shared kitchen and bathroom, and services including food, medication etc. would have cost about 4200 € a month, which I find outrageous, even if in line with what I've heard about other places. A co-worker whose parents live in a house in Helsinki run by the same company - and pay it all with their own money - says the standards seem to be the same as in a municipal facility.

I hope mother will manage on her own, now with three daily visits from home care, and meals on wheels, cleaning, and me spending the weekends and holidays with her as before, but I can't help seeing that she is worse than she was last summer, and her stay in the hospital did not improve her condition - rather she is more disoriented than she was in May. But I hope everything will work out well when she is again in familiar surroundings.