Wednesday, May 26, 2010

No one said that This was Going to be Easy...

...But no one told me that it would be this hard...

Mom has been a rehab patient at the Heartland Care Center for about 6 weeks.  She has been going to Therapy nearly every day.  She is doing so well that she no long needs their services, so will be discharged...maybe sometime next week.

So...today we had her Home Safety Evaluation...

Yes, sandwiched between my last day of school and Line's last day here in Aberdeen...I went to Devils Lake.  Four hours driving up and 4 hours driving back...

And that is not the hard part...


Because of her age, her decreased vision and her decreased balance...the recommendation is to go to her home...Guarded.  That is the therapist's term.  in other words...She needs assistance.
Either, assistance from the outside...such as...building an entrance ramp, getting the Life Alert System, adding more grab bars in her bathroom, rearranging her kitchen cabinets, rearranging what's in her bedroom drawers, setting up Meals on Wheels, setting up a Cleaning/Laundry service, getting a cordless phone, buying a shower seat, changing the how the pharmacy delivers her medications, decluttering all her walkways...etc., etc...

Or...she could give up her apartment and move to an Assisted Living facility...where all the assistance is already in place.  But...You all know how Independent Mom is...She's the one that took the Senior Bus to get an Angiogram.   
But now, she is a bit overwhelmed...she cannot decide.  So...It is up to her family.  That would be me...
...I thought the Mommy was supposed to make all the hard decisions...

11 comments:

countercrafts said...

Hi! I have been following your blog, because I too am the care giver for my Mom and have been for the last 16 years. My Mom moved to our town when my Dad died 16 years ago. She lived in an apartment by herself for 14 of those years and has always been very independent. Seven years ago, she developed macular degeneration, and her mobility became limited because of earlier rhematoid arthiritis physical handicaps. Two years ago, Mom decided that she needed more help than I could/should give her and she made the decision to move to a nursing home. Mentally she could have moved into the assisted living area, however, physically...she needed to be in the nursing home area that would give her more individual care/help. This decision has turned out to be wonderful for her. She has had wonderful care, never been afraid of falling/laying for a long time and having meals cooked three times a day has been a great benefit also. It was a tough decision for her, however, it has been the best decision that she made. She was able to relax and enjoy herself and she didn't need to bother me so much (which I never complained about...but she didn't like asking me to come to her apartment to help her, etc). I was so amazed at how happy she became after moving to the nursing home, because she was able to relax and enjoy herself. Lots of new friends, activities and she could shut her door...if she wanted privacy. Unfortunately, her body is giving out (not her mind though) and she is failing rapidly. She is 91 and has had a wonderful full life. Just wanted to share about my Mom's decision and how it has been so good for her. Take Care and God Bless! Donna, gmills4@suddenlink.net

Pam said...

Natalie - I wish I could help you with all your "stuff". What hard decisions you (and your mom) have to make.

jodi said...

I feel for you. My husband is the caregiver with his parents. His dad no longer knows who anyone is and his mother has always been on the feeble side. But they are not ready to leave home yet. Even with my father-in-law climbing on the roof and taking a walk during the night in the neighborhood. But they live an hour away which is better than 4. Good luck with everything.

basketsbyrose said...

Being a care giver for my parents I feel for you. It is like no matter what help you pick for your mother,you will be second guessing your thoughts. Remember each day with your mother, and hold her hand, as she starts this new path in life.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Natalie, this pains my heart because I know how much you adore your mom.
Dig deep in your heart...you will make the right choice.
Breathe. Pray.
Thinking of you all,
Suz

Oklahoma Granny said...

Since I haven't experienced what you are going through I can't offer any words of advice. I can say that my uncle moved to a wonderful assisted living facility several years ago. He seemed extremely happy there and developed many friendships, both residents and staff. I know you'll make the right decision for your mom. I'll keep both of you in my prayers.

Kat S. said...

Oh Natalie, I feel for you and your Mother my dear. Been there. It is not easy for either one of you, but we all come to transitions throughout our lives and this is a big one for you both. When Mom went into assisted living, it was a joint decision with her (at nearly 90 she refused to live with family because she so wanted independence but was becoming too frail to live alone anymore) and it was kind of like the best of both worlds for her. Plenty of readily available care 24hours a day, lots of friends and company, and her own little suite with a kitchenette and many of her own things about her. She was still the mistress of her own life and her apartment and could come and go as she pleased. But she was safe too. Certainly there were compromises and trade offs, but now everyone, including her, could breathe a sigh of relief. She passed away a few years ago, very peacefully in her sleep and in her own bed! Ideally we would have loved for her to stay in her own home, but that was one of those major transitions life sometimes insists upon. She still had her independence, privacy and control, but in a safer setting. You're both in my prayers.

Kat S.

Cathryn said...

Yeah--mommies are supposed to make the hard decisions--until you become the mommy to your mommy. My husband and I both are aware of our aging parents--his mother isn't doing so well, doesn't always make good decisions concerning her health. One of these days she will have to live with one of her children. She resents that so no one can talk to her about it right now.

Contact your local aging agency and see what is available to both of you--and that may help you both make the decisions of where your mom needs to be.

My heart goes out to both of you.

Valley Primitives Gift Shoppe said...

Natalie,
I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this. It's even harder when she is so far away. Praying that God would give you wisdom and discernment in the decisions you have to make for your Mom and that He would give you peace, physical and emotional strength.
Kim

chellebelle said...

For what it is worth, when my grandmother made the decision to move to assisted living, even though she was only there for a month (she passed away then) she was very happy, she was a social person and had the advantage of someone to visit with all of the time. She told me she hadn't been so energized for years. This is a hard thing for the whole family, my thoughts are with you and your mom.

Tolentreasures said...

I feel for you, what a hard decision. We had that with my MIL this winter. Luckily, her home is very close and in the transition, my husband actually stayed with her at nights for several weeks. Happy to say that what we thought was a downhill slope has turned around well. She actually drove herself to dialysis for the first time last week, what progress she has made. I hope that you are able to come to a decision that suits both of you well.

Cathy