Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Long Week

The week of the 4th of July was one of the longest I have ever been through.  It was the 10 year anniversary of our being caretakers for my Mother.  These years have been both a blessing and a curse for all of us.  But this year it is coming to an end.

After much thought, discussion and research, we have found the nursing home we think is the best for her to live.  It is 30 miles from here and where Mother grew up.  Her sister (who is blind) lives there and there are always people in and out, both residents and visitors, whom Mother knows.  It really seems like the best choice.

Unfortunately, after we had made this decision and started the process, Mother began to balk at the idea.  She went from being excited about the move, to crying and fussing about it.  It has been such an emotional roller coaster for all of us.  Since she has not ever been happy that I or anyone else can remember, we did not think that she would jump for joy over the prospect anyway.

Over the past few years she has been especially unhappy.  She was frightened if we went anywhere for any reason, thus she did not want us to leave the house.  She stayed in her room most of the time watching TV or napping.  When she had to go to the doctor, she used her walker and it was all she could do to make it from the car to the office.  She was getting very forgetful and constantly argued that she was not told things when we would mention something.  She also argued that she had told us things that she had not.  It made for a very uncomfortable situation most days.

Since I am her only child, she felt that I could not know what was right for her as much as she did.  I could not get her to do the things I would ask her to.  This included bathing, taking her medication correctly, acting nice around visitors and other such normal activities.  It was becoming so uncomfortable around our house that we rarely had company or invited people over.  Not only did we not want to hear some of the things she would say, but we did not want others to hear these things.

I have mentioned that she had shingles.  She seems to have lost her modesty since this has happened to her.  She has no problem with pulling her blouse up and showing the scars on her breasts and under her arm to anyone who is around.  This activity occurs around family, friends and strangers.  Since she does not wear a bra, this is quite embarrassing to us and the family. I cannot seem to make her understand that most people do not want to see her shingles and especially are not interested in seeing her breasts.  This point has not registered with her yet.

One of the main reasons we made this move is for her safety.  Since I no longer have the capacity to drive, my husband does all the errands.  I am, at best, wobbly and unsteady on my feet.  Leaving me to care for Mother, who is often more unstable than I am, is not safe for either of us.  When she holds onto me for support, it is kind of like “the blind leading the blind”.  We have gotten quite a few stares walking into places, me with my cane and her with her walker.  I am sure we look like quite the pair.

If we live until Monday (July 8th) and get her settled in the home, hopefully we will all be more at ease and able to function in a halfway normal manner.  The past few months have been a nightmare and this 4th of July week has been the ultimate nightmare.  We are hoping and praying that this move will be a blessing for all of us.

Keep us in your prayers please!!!!!


Muffie said...

I know how difficult such a move can be, but trust me, you're doing the right thing! At such places, the residents receive good care twenty-four / seven, and you need not have those awful worries anymore. My mother moved into a home five years ago, but she didn't know it since her dementia completely sapped her memory.

Webster said...

I hope everything went smoothly with the move and that you are feeling no guilt at all.