News, Information and Ideas on how to deal with hearing loss in a hearing world. Plus a few other topics!
One of the most uncomfortable situations for our family these days is when someone asks us why we don't take care of Mom Klink at our house? Anyone that has a family member in a nursing home dreads this question. It goes to the very core of our emotions and it's hard not to take it as a criticism of how Mom is being taken care of. There are many situations in families with different approaches on just how to take care of your 'Elder'. Here is how we made our decision.
Mom decided back in the early 1990's that she wanted to do all that she could so that she would not become a 'burden' to all of us. She moved into an Independent Living Apartment on a local health care facility campus that had options for her as the needs increased. While none of us could figure out why she wanted to live in a studio apartment in her early 60's, we also knew that family tradition for her had been this scenario. Her mother did the same thing and even added a twist of moving several states away into a similiar facility.
When the decision was made to move her to Wisconsin, we really struggled with the best route to go when it came to having her live with us or moving into an extended care facility. We knew that our house was not user friendly for her due to the fact that you have to go up 17 steps just to get to the main living area. Selling our home and finding a more appropriate one was not an option. While this enables us to have a good 'excuse' as to why we don't have Mom with us at home, it's also, in our minds, an easy answer to the question when someone asks.
To be perfectly honest, we just can't take care of her. While I have training and a background in the medical field, we also knew that if we did this, it would probably destroy our life as we know it. Brutal words, but also the ultimate reason for the decisions that were made.
We have our own business and spend days at a time on the road. Our kids are all grown and except for the youngest who recently graduated from college, the rest are out on their own. While it may sound selfish to some, we spent over 30 years taking care of our kids and now enjoy our freedom of being able to do what we want.
The downside to all of this is that we are constantly thinking about Mom. What is she doing? How are things going? Is she being taken care of as well as when we are present at the Nursing Home? Did they remember to give her the special jelly with her breakfast? Did she get her skim milk for her decaf coffee? Is anyone paying attention to her needs?
Usually, we go and see her every couple of days. We still show up at strange times and do the surprise visits. I've been known to go twice in one day just because I have an uneasy feeling that I've missed something or I just want to make sure that she really is ok after an upsetting day for her.
I see all that needs to be done for just 1 person and I know that there is no way I could do it 24/7. The staff that take care of the Long Term Care Residents have more patience than I will ever have. While I can still find things that need improvement, I also tend to be cautious on how I address those needs with the Staff. You just don't want to become the family that everyone dreads seeing walk in the door.
I see the activities that Mom is a part of there and know that if I had her here at home, she would probably be bored out of her mind. My arts and crafts days are over and I know that after having her with us for a couple of days during the move to Wisconsin, I would be tearing my hair out when I would have to answer the same questions that I answered minutes earlier. Add in the no sleep factor and it would not be a good scenario for any of us.
But, it's still tough to be asked why she's not living with us. Until you go through this with someone you love, you just don't understand all of the things associated with it. I have friends that take care of their parents in their homes. They are tired, frustrated and juggling so many balls that they've forgotten what it's like to have a normal day. But, they are determined to follow through on their vision of providing that great period of time that all of the experts and books are telling you Home Care can be. I admire all of them that are doing this. I am so happy that we are not in the same boat. It would be a fiasco.
We got lucky in that Moms' vision for this period of her life would have her in a facility. At no time has she asked to come live with any of us. While it makes it easier on us, you also have to wonder...
When it's our turn, will we be as brave?
Have a great week!
- Outnumbered in the Elder Care Journey (2)
- Nursing Home or Not? (0)
- Becoming A Parent To Your Elder (0)
- When the Elder Has a Bad Day, Everyone Does! (0)
- POA Healthcare - How To Get Around It (0)
- Navigating Your Way Through the Medical Records (0)
- Do You File A Complaint On An Elder Care Facility? (0)
- Things To Think About When It Comes To Emptying Elders' Apartments (0)
- How To Get The Real Information (2)
- The Elder Care Journey (1)
- More "Hear's" to Life! posts