Facing the Facts


This is not going to be easy.  Not at all.

As a family, we don’t really think she is ready for this move…. but try as hard as we could to talk the Director of the Assisted Living center into letting her stay if we promised more family visits, etc, to see if that would perk up her attitude…. she pretty much said “No… I’m sorry.  I just can’t have her treating my Aids that way.”  So…. now we have reached a cross roads that brings us to a very difficult decision.

My Mom has been living in an Assisted Living Center since she had her stoke 5 years ago.  She made the adjustment fine in the beginning.  Though she was very reluctant to do it…. she knew that none of us were in a position to give her the 24/7 care she needed…. particularly that first little while after her stroke.  But she adjusted well.  Like my sister said last night as we were talking…. it’s because she had someone else to take care of.  Meaning…. that she felt a big concern for many of the friends she made in her first Assisted Living center.  She wanted to make sure they got down to dinner and such and would go ‘pick them up’ on her way.  She was like a little Mother Hen to many of them.  Most of those people have passed on now.

Then we had to move her about 3 years ago.  She was needing more care and the facility she was in was forcing her out of her beautiful 2 room apartment.  She would need to move to another section of the building that was ‘licensed’ to give her the level of care she was needing.  Unfortunately, those rooms were very small!  She would have had to get rid of most of her furniture (which was one of the reasons she adapted to Assisted living in the first place, because her own stuff was around her).

Consequently, we checked out other facilities and found one that had a lovely room … not quite as big as the one she was in…. but much bigger than the cracker box we would have had to move her in at the first place.  Plus, they gave the level of care she needed.  We felt very blessed to find another place we were able to make a ‘home’ for her.

Now…. she is starting to show signs of getting dementia and seems to be treating the girls that work at her facility unkindly, so they say.  If only it was as easy as telling her to quit being mean….  then perhaps we could keep her there.  She is very demanding and wants things done her way.  She insists the girls stay with her longer than they should be, which cuts into time they need to be spending with other residents.  It’s a hard situation to be facing.

I hate to see my Mom like this.  When we were faced with the first decision to put her into Assisted Living….. she not only adapted well but had a great attitude about it.  She knew she could either be miserable or choose to make the best of it.  She chose to make the best of it and was a pretty pleasant resident to deal with.  This ornery attitude she seems to be getting, is very hard for everyone to handle.  If only she could ‘choose’ to be happy again…  Then again…. the recent fall she experienced would be enough to make anyone ornery!

I can see it’s time for me to do a little studying up on how to deal with dementia.  It’s so hard to see someone turn into someone they are not!  Her older sister had major problems with dementia before she passed.  We are just praying that she doesn’t get that bad.  Hopefully it’s just being a little forgetful.

My sister has been a Saint through all of this.  She’s been through more than any of us siblings have any idea about since she’s been in charge of Mom’s care!

Though I’m very saddened at the thought of having to move Mom again….. I’m so grateful for the time she’s had at both facilities!  They have been so good to her.  It’s just hard to face the facts that this is happening.  I’m a believer that everything is put in our path for a reason….. I just need to learn the lesson I’m suppose to from this…… but that doesn’t make it any easier!

I am Grateful!  How are You?

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2 Replies to “Facing the Facts”

  1. Wanda,
    I am so sorry to hear of this sad time in your life. My mom lived with my sister with a few stints of recovery at the care center after falling and having strokes at different times. It was very hard on my sister and we were considering putting her in an assisted living center, because she was still doing pretty good but was way to heavy and struggled with control of eliminations.

    My sister and her twin daughters took great care of her, but it left them all drained. I brought her here to California sometimes and my brother would take her occasionally, but it was still very hard for my sister and her girls because it wasn’t often enough to give them a much needed break.

    Last year one of the twins was killed in an automobile accident when the road washed away and that took an extremely rough toll on all of the family, especially my sister her husband who was the driver and her twin who had to go on without her soul mate. They did their best to take care of mom after that, but it became more difficult because mom did have some dementia from the strokes and couldn’t stop talking about her grand daughters accident. I went up to Utah every 2 or three months to try to help and ease the struggles and everyone just barely got by at times.

    Mom did finally have a stroke and passed away this last October. We all said that Justine left before her so that she could take care of mom when she left this earth. Justine was mom’s little saint, even though both twins helped her a lot.

    I just don’t think there are easy answers here and I just pray that all of you will be strong enough to handle everything that comes. Despite how hard it was caring for mom, I wish she was back so that I could still serve this woman who served others and gave so much of her self her entire life.
    Hugs! Loves!
    La Rae

    1. Thanks, LaRae….
      It is always tough to move them. Things seem to be looking up a little. It looks as though we will be able to take her back to her first place, which she dreaded leaving 3 years ago because she had so many friends there. Though the room will be smaller than what she is in right now and we will have to downsize her furniture….. we think we can still make it homey for her and not feel sterile.
      She’s just really not at the point that she is needing the care that the Director of her current Assisted Living center was trying to tell us she needed. It’s just that my Mom wants the girls to spend more time helping her than the director feels they can or should. So… we are moving on. Apparently she took the news fairly well. I think she likes the idea of being back at Heritage House, though many of her good friends have passed on since she left. But Valerie Goodrich England’s mother in law is there now and my Mom knows her very well. I think she will like being able to visit with her. Also, Jim Child’s Mom is there. Though my Mom doesn’t know her…. it will give her a chance to meet someone new!
      My Mom really is a trouper! I think she will adjust fine. As long as the staff will take care of her needs it will be OK. I’ve made a commitment to spend more time with her. I think having family around more often will cheer her up some too!
      Thanks for your concern! I know it’s not easy seeing their health fail! It’s just the time of life we have come to. Thanks again.

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