I went to several assisted living facilities by myself during November and December. Many facilities would say they had no room but that we could get on a waiting list. That seemed okay as my brothers weren’t looking to move her until maybe June or July.
At each location I was asked, “Does your mom need assistance with the shower?”
“She can shower by herself.” She could. Two months ago. Even just two weeks ago. And then she’d forget to use soap. And then she would just forget.
Last Tuesday I created this post. It was a good day for her. It turned out to be the last good day at home. Her home. The one she has lived in for the last 50 plus years but has forgotten. We’re moving her into assisted living. I don’t know when. It should have been a lot sooner in my opinion.
Last week she was smiling. Giggling. That’s right – giggling. And she called me crazy. We had fun. And then her friend called. And she was alert enough to know who she was talking to. I don’t know how soon after I left that she became withdrawn. Disconnected.
On Thursday she was almost in a stupor – though not quite. She would answer my questions. “No, I don’t want to do it” “Not right now” “I don’t know why I’m so tired . . .”
I had suggested (several times) for her to lie down. I did give her drinks from the fridge. Perhaps not enough. The next two days were nightmarish for Nate and Ellen as mom would pass out which in turn would freak Ellen.
Newlyweds shouldn’t be in that position to take care of a grandma that rapidly declines. Sunday morning was really bad for Ellen especially, who had found grandma in soiled sheets and apparently her room reeked.
Patrick and Sunny took her to the hospital that morning. It sounds like they all missed Church as Nate and Ellen had gone with them. Apparently they were in the emergency room for what felt like forever – other cases were given a higher priority.
When they did finally call mom back, only two people were allowed to go with her. That ended up being Patrick – the only one of the four who has power of attorney, and Nate, who has been acting as mom’s care giver in Corey’s place. Sunny and Ellen returned home and Sunny started in with phone calls to the rest of mom’s children.
I had just barely started my lesson when the first phone call came. A frantic caller as the person on the other end called three times. When the lesson was over, I returned the call to my sister who related the events.
I went to Kayla’s ward right after attending the meetings at ours. Kayla had told me she was speaking. I was sooooo glad that I went as she did an awesome job.
While the sacrament was being passed, my phone went off again. Fortunately it had been on vibrate all day and no one aside from Jenna and I seemed to notice.
Sunny finally got a hold of Bill (Kayla’s husband) who has been through hospital administration many times with his first wife. He’s got a deeper insight and understanding than the rest of us would like to experience. But here we are. Mom is in the hospital. Quite confused. Disoriented. But happy. Positive.
Or so I heard.
I was told to talk to a social worker about getting mom moved over to one of these facilities (there’s one we like that actually has an opening right now) I was there for five hours yesterday before the social worker arrived.
At first glance he didn’t seem legitimate. For me personally, he seemed to come across as a patient from the psychiatric ward – a happy go lucky fellow with mussed up hair.
I was told that she’d probably be released today. Really? But we need another day at least.
Sunny picked up a packet from the assisted living. A large packet. She said there were over 35 pages to be filled out and that there was no way she and Patrick would be able to get it done just by themselves in the allotted time frame.
So Roland and I went out to mom’s house to assist with the paperwork. We Skyped Corey and fired questions at him. We could see him, but evidently he could not see us.
For the most part we were laughing. Corey came across like one of those old Japanese movies in which the lips are not in sync with what’s being said. And when it came to personal questions – do we say how it really was or provide today’s reality which is only about 40% truth.
Mom really has been to Europe and Greece, Alaska and Hawaii. But in her mind she’s also been to Egypt, South Africa, Russia and China (to name a few) Provide the name of any state and she claims she’s been there – usually just for the day. And usually she drove. She’s been to a quarter of the states at best. She’s never been to Asia or many other places she’s claimed. She was not driving when she was fourteen.
It’s funny. Mom has no clue why she was at the hospital – even after we told her. She doesn’t retain information. Corey had asked why she was in the hospital. Her answer amused both me and Corey.
She said (over the phone), “I’m not sick or anything – I had to come to take a shower. And it’s here so I have to be here”
Yet when “Everybody Loves Raymond” showed on TV, she was able to relate the events that were about to happen. How is that even possible? I mean, I know she’s seen it again and again. It just floored me that she seemed to have it memorized.
She’s worried about her purse. She often will look for it while she’s home. Once she finds it, she can relax – until she’s forgotten and has to search for it again. It has become a part of her the way the cell phone has become a surgically implanted part of many people or a security blanket a child may drag around and refuse to part with.
I don’t know where she’ll wake up tomorrow. They say it takes a couple of days to process the paperwork. We’re really not ready for her to be leaving the hospital today. The transition will be so much easier if we didn’t have to take her back to her house.
Don’t guess I will know for a while yet. Perhaps I’ll have be able to post more tomorrow. Hopefully I will be too busy with transition to make the post. We’ll see.