Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Trials of Aging

This isn't a food blog today. It's more of a way of my getting things into perspective.
Saturday my mother is moving to a care home. It's a really nice home with 4 residents, one being a good friend of hers, though with both having dementia they probably will have to become reaquainted. It's located close by so it's no further going to visit her there than it was going to her home every day to take care of her.
My mother has Alzhiemer's and slowly she's progressed to the point that she needs more care than we can give her. Up until now she's been living on her own with a care giver coming in, in the afternoons to help prepare dinner and do light house work. It has progressed from the care giver coming 5 days a week to 7 plus another caregiver coming on weekends for a couple of hours to prepare lunch. Now after a few mishaps it's just time for her to move to a facility that can provide around the clock supervison. That is what's needed. Mom can still dress herself but needs reminders to brush her teeth, comb her hair, bathe and other minor things.
I've been waffleing about this move for a long time. I'm of the feeling that the longer she stays in her own home and familiar surroundings that it's better for her. I also don't want my daughter coming to me and saying that I'm to old to take care of myself and I have to go to a home. I know it's the best for her and yet....... It's been a hard decision on my part to let go and finally come to terms with the fact that she can't take care of herself any longer without help.
My sister and I found this home through a placement agency and I'm relieved we did. Originally we were thinking maybe 6 months to a year before we really needed it but Mom recently had a pace maker put in and it's become even more apparent that she needs more help since the surgery. So for the past three weeks it's been a whirlwind of doctors, hospitals and visiting the care home and getting a room secured for her. We were lucky in the fact that a room came up just as we were needing it. This week it's been more doctors and having all the required papers filled out by the doctors that the home requires. I've been packing some of her clothes and pictures and trying to remind my mother that she will be moving on Saturday. Each time I bring it up it's totally new to her. Some days she agrees that she needs to move, that the house is too big for her and she realizes she needs more help. Other days she doesn't want to go, can't understand why she can't stay in her own home. Five minutes later she doesn't remember the conversation. I guess that's good. Once she gets to her new home, maybe she won't even remember any thing else.
All this I leave to my sister. I will be out of town this weekend, down in San Diego for my granddaughter's first birthday. It's a relief to me that I won't be the one moving her. Yet, being the control freak that I tend to be I'm wondering if she'll pack the right clothes (hence my packing) and if she'll take everything my Mom will need, and I know she will. I've written longs lists of things that need to go and where they are and what needs to be done.
I really, even after coming to terms with don't know how I'd handle it. My sister is more pragmatic about it. I'm the emotional one. I don't know if I could leave her without a total break down.. of course I don't how my sister will handle it either when it comes right down to it.
Hard decision that has to be made. As I've watched my mother age and deteriorate I know I'll be the same way and it scares the hell out of me. They say Alzheimer's is hereditary, isn't that fun to look forward to. I don't want to get like that.. I'm already kicking and screaming and holding on for dear life not to age. I know I am and will and there isn't much I can do about it but damn...
For any of you that are in the same boat, here is the agency we used and they are very good. They have a list of homes in what ever area you looking and they know if they've had violations or good reviews. It's easier with a list of a few homes that to go out looking not know what to look for. Also, if anyone needs a good in home care giver I'm leaving Marie's information.
Also through the placement agency we found out that the Veteran's administration has assistance for veterans and their widows. Here are some resources.

Senior Care Solutions "providing education, resources, and placement referrals for seniors"..free service 916 965-5565 Jessica Coyne

Veterans Assistance

Marie Johnson -in home care 916 470-8197

Asian Community Center in home respite service
Judy Fong Heary
Sr. program manager
916 393-9026

1 comment:

Mel said...

I know it was so difficult but hope you are feeling better about it now. She is better off.

If you have alzheimers...you won't know where you are...and people would make sure you were in a top notch place.

On the other hand, I told Dave if I get Alzheimer's...I want the blue pill when the time comes. :)

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