Mother gets to go home!

fairegoldAugust 23, 2005

She'll be released to her old (new) apartment on Friday! Thursday she goes over to the apt for 30 minutes with the physical therapist to see if everything, furniture and placement, is ok. And then she gets to go home for good on Friday afternoon.

Her apt is all ready except for rehanging the pictures that we took over to the nursing home, and I should have those up on Friday morning. She COULD come home Friday AM, but I have my Caregivers' Support Group from 11 to 12, and I am not willing to miss that. lol!

Well, she'll be fine until the next incident or injury. Wish us luck.

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I send my luck wishes your way. Your support group is something I have missed having. They tried one in this little town, one couple with a mother in the nursing home and me, did not last long.
I sure hope your mom stays healthy for a long time, and enjoys being back home.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2005 at 9:47PM
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This support group is thru Alliance on Aging. And we live in a county where there are retired volunteers by the score in every possible group. We are very fortunate to have this. I don't know how far you are from a larger town, but it's worth a little travel for an hour a week. Or try to re-start a new group. I've been spreading the news, and the social worker at the nursing home is going to ask the group to start a new meeting time, and he'll offer their conference room one evening a week.

Ask all the churches and talk to the nursing homes. These groups survive the best where there is a lot of drum-beating in the community, and sometimes that comes down to beating the drums yourself. Try again!

Thanks for the kind words. Mother is so anxious to get back home that it's not funny!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2005 at 12:25AM
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Did you get your mother all moved today? I sure hope that everything went OK.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 9:29PM
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Thanks! Mother is back at her old/new apartment, and seems pleased. I told her that I would not be seeing her until at least Monday or even Tuesday. This weekend I have 8 weeks of neglected house and yard to attend to.

She's going to be a tough sell for the assisted living staff, and I just left the nurse in charge of the Tough Love approach. Mother made a face when I told her that she cannot do laundry herself.... before the launrdy room in the wind was really close to her apartment. She made a long story about not needing help showering when the nurse talked about that. She was told that her accepting the assisted living is a condition of her living there. Period.

I know it will be ok, but she really is incredibly frail. But she has no pain now, and moves around well.

Thanks for asking. Now we will see if I can reclaim a little of my own time!

(note: I did not insert any ads into this message!)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 9:37PM
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sounds as if she will settle in with a minimum of complaints. Maybe if you were so wrapped up in housework (horrors!) that you would forget to go until at least Tuesday.....maybe she would have gotten more used to their routine....maybe. that Tough Love approach can work wonders. I don't see how they do it. I don't think I could. I had trouble enough with my teenagers. LOL

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 11:59AM
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Are things still going smoothly? I sure hope so. I know that we can't expect a road with no bumps, no ups and downs, but it sure would be nice, wouldn't it!!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 5:29PM
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Yes and no. Mother is by nature a complainer. She complained about the hot afternoon sun in her west-facing apartment before, and this apt, on the north side, is too cold.

Yesterday really blew me...

I got a cell-phone call from the head of Assisted Living. Mother had apparently stopped her to tell her that she "has no money", and is very unhappy that I can't be reached (huh?). And she told another resident that she has no money, and the woman she told doesn't have the best cognitive skills, and now THAT person is all upset.

So, I was in town (we live about 12 miles away, out in the county), and I went right over there. Mother says that I told her not to call me... truth is that I told her I would not be visiting her all last weekend. She said she had no pocket money. There is $30 in her wallet in her purse, but she had not looked there. She stashes little bits of money in hiding places, changing it every day, but she never thought to check her wallet.

Afraid that I lost my temper again. I told her that the staff is not happy if a resident makes other people upset (true), and if she does this again, then I don't know whatI can do to help her, but that she might have to move to Las Vegas, near my brother. Truth is, this is an independant living facility with assisted living services available for a fee. These are complete apartments. This is not a care-taking facility. They do not take AD patients, and if someone loses it too much to function well, they are asked to move. And there is nothing else in this community of this sort of place.

She tells me how lonely she is, and I say I cannot help her there. There are 150 people right outside her apt. door, but I cannot help her. Then she sobs about "why am I cursed to live so long?" She is so negative in general (always has been) that she looks at the roses that my cousin brought her and says, "I hate to see them die." (Roses were still lovely; she couldn't say anything positive about how good they look.)

Today was better. I returned with her laundry, and the VNA PT showed up for a first visit. The housekeeper was due after lunch, and the maintenance guy showed up to check her thermostats.

That should tire her out completely.

At some point, I realized that all I was hearing fom her was: I don't want to bother you, I know you did a lot of work moving me but you shouldn't have, I hate to be a burden on you, you shouldn't have to do things for me, I hate asking you for anything, etc etc etc.

Never once did she say, Thank you.

No wonder I get frustrated.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 5:48PM
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I've been reading your posts about your mother and getting so much help from them for our situation. My husband's mother had a stroke (not a bad one) and is in a nursing home. She has a certain degree of dementia, but not bad. The main thing she does that's "demented" is that she'll suddenly say, "Where's my purse? I need to go to the bank." I'm so interested in this financial insecurity that seems to be prevalent with many old people.

I think it's so difficult for you because you are her daughter--my husband is the only child and his mother doesn't do to him what I think mothers do to their daughters.

From what I've read, you've been a wonderful daughter to her during this really difficult time of life.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 6:20PM
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Oh, Helen, I think they all obsess about money. Whether it's the age, since they went thru the Depression, or some other manifestation of age and/or dementia, I don't know. But I have heard this is so common in so many old people. I've heard it confirmed by the people who work in the nursing home and the apt where Mother lives, that it is soooo common!

Yes, Mother would believe anything one of my brothers said before she will believe me saying the same thing. SIgh. Very hard to take sometimes.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 10:46PM
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How heartbreaking and frustrating it must be for you, to constantly try so hard to make your mother comfortable and get no positive feedback. Surely you must realize by now that no matter what you do, it will never be enough, sad to say. I think this is where "taking care of yourself" becomes ultra-important. You can only do what you can do. You can't change the fact that your mom is old, and frail, and lonely, and unhappy. You see to it that her needs (and more) are met, and you give of yourself unselfishly and continuously. No mother could ask for more.

Please do watch out for yourself and take care.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 9:53PM
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Thanks. But maybe I've been taking care of myself a little too well. I am 40 pounds heavier now than I wa s3 years ago when she moved here! I just figured that out when I got a doughnut on Monday afternoon when I stopped at the grocery store for the regular shopping.


Do some people actually NOT eat when under stress? Wow, that's a concept! LOL!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 9:57PM
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I know! When my mom was first diagnosed with the brain tumor, I was too stressed and frantic to eat. Then I made up for it and MORE. Food became my comfort. Nearly every night, after I fed her dinner at the nursing home, I went out to eat. Did this all last summer and it didn't matter if I was alone or with a friend. Then I discovered I could no longer fit into even my "fat" clothes!!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 10:21AM
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Oh gosh, can I ever relate to the weight issue/stress thing. When mom first moved in, I lost six pounds after the first week. I told my sister and she said if I continue to lose, she's gonna snatch mom up and take her to her house!! --- no such luck though, like you Fairegold, I've gained that back and then another 15 in only ten months...I know we use food to comfort and soothe ourselves...I sure wish I could find something else that is as soothing and comforting!!!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 8:10AM
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Mum gets freaked out about money, too! She has enough to "get by", lol!

I'd been reminding her she would be going to my brother's for a few weeks for some time before the actual departure date. She was continuously flipped out about having "enough mad money"... I gave her $300 in cold, hard, cash... she touched it, counted it, and then wondered if it would be "enough". I reminded her that her checkbook would be going along with her, as would her credit cards... . That seemed to mollify her.

What's interesting to me, though, is that whenever we go out she doesn't want to be "in charge" of her money! I don't think she's really capable any longer and I think she understands that, too. But there is a tremendous amount of security in knowing she HAS money... see what I mean?

Do you have any idea how nice it is to know others are facing the same things?!

(Happy your Mom is better and "home", Fairegold! great news!)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 12:15PM
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I think money is a symbol of security for them. They feel "safer" if they have that symbol. We had to evacuate mother from NH during one hurricane. She got the idea that we didn't any candles and obsessed about going out and buying some. I got mine out and made her count them. It was like they were invisible. Riding out a hurricane is nerve-racking. With wind blowing rain around the cracks in the door, I finally reached the screaming point about going out and buying candles. Then she shut up because she was frightened of me.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 1:05PM
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