By this time we were more aware of Mom and her dementia process but we were still being knocked off our feet by actions and reactions, never knowing what next. Since I was a geriatric RN, this wasn’t a total surprise, but it was a shock. With patients I knew them NOW. With Mom, I knew her THEN and NOW – it was totally different .You do lose perspective when it is your own family member. They taught us this in training, but now I had, regrettably, the perfect living example.
Mom was in a facility with apartments, assisted living and they were soon to open a skilled nursing floor. My sister had found out this information as Mom was still “foxy” enough not to tell me, about the supposed move she planned for Dad.
I called to find out about the staffing ratio. I felt it was, well, basically criminal. 2 CNA’s for 19 residents on DAY SHIFT. That was worse than any facility I had ever heard of in 2 different states.
I spoke with Dad. "Marijo, I don't WANT to move."
"Well, maybe you can tell Mom this tomorrow when she visits you?"
"No, no, she makes me scared, I CAN'T tell her - maybe you can get legal custody of me?"
My poor, dear father, making more sense at this time than mom ever could. How could I get legal custody of my "on the air" father? I had power of attorney for health care but legally, mom could still move him. I didn't think any judge would declare Dad "unfit" mentally and we didn't have the time or funds to find out.
We hoped most of this was dementia talking through Mom and that she’d forget. Lord have mercy. For some reason she always remembered those things we hoped she’d forget and she forgot most all else.
“Mom, Dad is getting really good care where he is and I don’t think we are going to move him. He just got settled in and likes being there. I phoned to see about staffing in your new place and it just would not allow for good care. Love you Mom and we can talk more later,” was the message I left for her.
I got an awful phone call from Mom, “You, you are terrible and, and messed EVERYTHING up,” she gasped out between sobs and then hung up on my machine.
There are times when I don’t even know what to say.
I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go. (NIV)
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (NIV)
"I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand…… (NIV)
Everyone in our family was holding on, very tightly, to the Lord's hand.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.
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Marijo, my Mom had Alzheimers. It affects everyone so differently, it seems. My Mom was not ornery, just cried over everything, doubted her Christianity, but was cooperative with most everyone. She Did forget that my father was her husband, and didn't want him to come in the bedroom when she was dressing(this was before she was in the nursing home) A couple of little critiques. Did you mean to say had been-the perfect example? and, Then there is would now? or did you mean would not allow for good care? Love you, and the article is great.