The meeting with my siblings was productive. We threw out 10 options for Mom’s care. Although some of them were just flippant, like: we can send her to her best friend’s house to live. She loves her best. Not really, but we were just trying to inject some humor into our conversation.
I think we came away with 2 viable options. Either we get her into the nice retirement village that is relatively close or she stays here with me. There really are no other choices.
Everyone was really excited about this village. Mom would live independently, however the apartment is set up for seniors with extra care options for a little more money above the rent each month. Sounds perfect. I have an appointment to go see these homes on Wednesday morning. If they indeed look suitable, we were going to present this option to Mom at the end of the week.
But today Mom is having a bad day. Both strength and memory seem to have failed her today. I had a day planned to visit a couple of local shops, lunch out, and then pick up some fresh flowers from the nursery before heading home. All things that she can do and enjoy — no walker or “exercise” involved. Shopping, lunch and flowers — sounds like a fun day to me.
Before we left the house, she asked me 5 different times where we were going. (sigh) I parked the car at the curb between the two shops I knew she would enjoy. Maybe 20 steps to each one. She struggled. After those two stops, we headed to the cafe’ across the street. Again, just a short distance, yet it was all she could do to get to the door. It was exhausting for both of us.
After lunch, we decided to at least try the nursery as she could push the flower cart. However, after the first few minutes, she opted to go back to the car to wait for me.
We did go get our nails done as she had 2 gift certificates that were about to expire (from Mother’s Day a year ago). I decided that was a safe option as she only had to sit there. Whew.
She has even decided she may not go to her golf outing tomorrow morning. ‘I think I’ll just wait a week. If I go, I’ll just want to play.’ She knows how much work today was for her and for me. I wish I could see inside her head and know what she is thinking.
My sister called just minutes after we got home. Mom said we got our hair cut and went out to lunch. (sigh) She couldn’t remember anything else we’d done, although, later in the conversation, she did remember that I had gotten some flowers.
This was a discouraging day. If I had only this day to judge whether she could live alone: Hands down: no.
Hopefully, the tour at the retirement village will lend some light on our situation. I have high hopes that I can get some guidance about Mom’s future.
She has asked me 4 times today when she gets to go home. How long can I put her off before we tell her, ‘never’. I can give her so much, yet I cannot give her the one thing she wants. It’s so sad, and I just want to cry.
One thought on “Today: Hands Down No”
I don’t know what the options would be at the village but I went through a similar decision point about a year ago and some of what you write here sounds so familiar. I found it agonizing at the time. Could my mom continue to live alone with some support from me? I finally realized that I was too afraid of calling, not getting a response and heading over to check on her as a regular part of my day. So, I kept her with me. Hard as it has sometimes been, it’s easier to monitor her health and safety. In our situation that has been really important as she has had a few health complications, times of wandering, lessening ability to handle cooking or even taking appropriate steps to eat. I did not know that all of this would happen as quickly as it did– though you may be at a different stage. My advice if you decide to have her live alone is to have some ideas of what kinds of signs or problems would make you revisit that decision. Personally, I am glad now to have had a little more quality time this year before she gets a lot worse.