Wow was yesterday a gong show or what, mom was supposed to be transfered from the hospital to the care home between 10 and 11, I decided to arrived at the hopital at around 9ish to get things packed and get my mom ready, on the drive to the hospital I received a phone call, it is illegal to talk and drive here in bc so all I could do was look to see who was calling, it was the hospital, I figured they were calling to cancel the move so I really did not want to answer it. I arived at the hospital at 8.45, went to the third floor and there was the transport guy waiting, the nurses were all a buzz and excited that mom was leaving, but wait back up a minute this was arranged for 10 to 11 not 8.30. the transport guys said that someone called him and scheduled the move for 8.30. So there is my mom sitting in the hallway half dressed, who knows if she has had her meds, still in hospital pj's and they are telling me that her leg is so sore that they have not be able to change her. 1/2 an hour later we are in the transport Van and on our way to the care home. Ever get that feeling of don't let the door hit you on the way out!!! we arrive at the care home and of course they are not ready for us, but what troupers they are, they invite us in, show us mom's new room and serve us some tea, My dad did the admissions while I rode with my mom. I have a lot of questions for you with your loved ones in care homes but that is for another post, for now I am just glad my mom had been placed. I talked to the head nurse for quite some time and told her that I would not be coming in today, she gave me a big hug and said stay in bed all day and pamper yourselve you mom is in good hands. Last night it was all I could do not to phone, after visiting and doing for my mom for the last 4 months this is really feeling odd. I am to the point that I feel if I don't go in they will think that we just dropped my mom off and left her. I know that is not true but geeze that is how I feel at the moment, perhaps a little guilty for placeing mom, as long as she was in the hospital there was always hope that she would come home, you know nobody stays in the hospital forever, anyway I guess this is one of those moments when the dieases really becomes a reality of the future.
I am glad that your Mom is now in a care home.
About the guilt, I would say don't feel guilty. You know why she is there and you have done the best to do what is right for her.
There are 2 kinds of suggestions about what the family shoud do at this point:
1. The home tells the family to stay away for a few weeks so the person can get used to the new caregivers/nurses there. This way the person won't look back to the old way. (If the person is very aggressive.)
2. The second way is like what my FIL's previous doctor suggested: we were there for a week dropping by every day and see what is going on all day for my FIL. Had lunch and dinner with him and etc.
Either way is fine. We were not there all the time anyway. Yes, my FIL did ask for us and kept saying he wanted to go up (upstairs back home - the new home has no second level.) Somehow he liked it there the first day thinking it was for his work. (He used to be a doctor and professor so the home fits his fantasy.)
Please don't feel guilty. Either way it is OK. The family just needs to check things to make sure everything is fine and no abuse and etc. At the same time, we need to give them time to care for the elders.
I have to say the first day for sure confused my FIL. He asked to be with us and so he told us to pick him up tomorrow as "we promised"... He was upset and confused in the activity room the first time sitting in the back (there were many people at that time.) An old lady pat him and comforted him.
Gradually he got used to it and asked us to move in there as well to work with him and care for him!!
I phoned this morning and my mom was still asleep, the nurses were going to just let her sleep, yesterday was such a hard day on all of us, no doubt she is exhuasted, this morning her new doctors and nurses of the care home have a big meeting at 10 to go over her charts and her meds and hopefully come up with a plan to help my mom settle down and once again become the happy go lucky person we once knew at the beginning of her hospital stay, or a least get her meds right so she no longer has troublesum episodes. or angry outbursts. I really am at lose ends. There is a lot I could be doing right now but I am still on my moms schedule and it will take a bit to let the reins lose. for over 4 years I have been watching over my parents and then a caregiver for my mom, accepting responsiblitly for all things including meds, bathing and caring for her even moreso the last 4 months while she was in hospital. I am still worried about the right meds, or the right food, her clothing, her missing us, her waking up in a strange place and not knowing anyone.. This is a different path we have embarked on and the start of any journery is scary..
Eventually the elders will always have some kind of emotional outburst.
My FIL had that kind of outburst last summer. He stopped walking full-time and he hit people during the toileting process. So the home gave him the low-dose antipsychotic drug and now he is calm when they do that. However he does not talk during the toileting process.
In the first year in 2010 fall, he felt suicidal (he had felt this way back home for more than 1 year) so the doctor gave him antidepressant and it helps.
I sure hope they will do better for your Mom - change the drugs that should be changed and make sure she can get used to the daily life and enjoy it. If the doctor is real good, he will know what to do. But they do need to observe her for a while since they don't know her.
My FIL's doctor was able to check the heart medicine and adjusted them accordingly. We are lucky the doctor is clever.
Judy, I get it. We run so hard and so fast for so long that when the time comes to slow the pace we just can't slow down. We see what we have done for so long and wonder what we are doing wrong by sitting at home! It takes time to adjust to the new normal. Yep, I have been just where you are at several points in Mom and Dad's journey through this disease. It will get easier. to take care of yourself and your Mom worry meter will slow down a bit as well as you become more comfortable with where she is now. Remember... it is a huge adjustment for you both! I remember having to wean myself off Mom visits! Everyday, then forced myself to go every two days and miss one, the had to move to every other day... eventually I could actually miss two days as be ok. It was a process to learn to trust others to do what I had been doing. Don't get me wrong... I still keep my finger solidly on the pulse of what is going on but I don't have to be there every day to do that
Guilt is a nasty negative emotion that we use to beat up on ourselves. I should have I could have! What if? We don't see what we are doing because we are so busy beating up on ourselves for what we think we should be doing. Guilt should be reserved for intentional harm or neglect. None of us are doing either of those. What we are doing is berating ourselves for imaginary possibilities. When those feelings creep in I just list what has been done for Mom. I pull out all the positive I can think of and focus on that. Yes, you have done all those things you have listed here So why feel badly because Mom is finally in a good place and you are taking a few minutes for you! Girl you earned it. You deserve it. You need it. You have to give this to yourself so you will have the physical and mental reserves for the long haul. Think of it as a gift to your Mom When you return, well rested and mentally revived, you will be better able to enjoy your Mom and help her.
Any new path is scary. As bad as the known is, it is what we know and we get comfortable even in the chaos. Switching gears is not what most of us do best. Yep, this is when reality that this disease has taken hold hits. So there is that adjustment . Just keep telling yourself that this is where Mom needs to be and it is going to be ok. Try to keep a positive outlook to overshadow the fear of the unknown. Yep, it's definitely an adjustment for you as well as for Mom
Do something kind for yourself today. Give yourself permission to worry about Mom for a limited time and then find something to keep your mind off Mom for a while. Call and check on her if it eases your worry and then go get a pedicure! Take a nap, read a book, curl up with a good movie. Allow yourself to unwind from the years of wind up you have have been through. Nope you won't get it accomplished today but with practice you will eventually get to a point where you can have some balance in your life!
Just know we are all with you, thrilled Mom is finally places, and hoping for a quick adjustment for you both
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Thank you for giving me the permission I need to step back for a bit. I guess I really needed someone to tell me to let someone else do the worrying for a bit, at least for today. As I read your post I started to cry, not sure why but there you have it, I guess I am wound up so tight, to release some of the tension is a good thing. I just finished calling the home once again and they were still in the meeting. She did tell me all was well, so for now I will hang onto those words and start trusting that someone else is overseeing my mom with care.
Yes, you do have permission to let go just a little bit! Give yourself that permission... if not I give it to you!! The tears were actually expected. Yep, it's a release of all that has been. Tears are not necessarily bad... they can be extremely cleansing. They are a release that you obviously needed. Call if you need to quiet your own worry. You have their assurance that Mom is ok. Believe in them. Then shut your eyes, imagine that cool breeze from the sea, and just breath. Let that body relax. I bet your shoulders are up around your ear lobes somewhere
I do know how you feel and I have been there myself of late. After 18 months of bad administration at the facility I was right where you were when the new ED showed up. I felt I had to be there to oversee Mom's care because it was so lacking. The only thing that would keep me home was the knowledge that the Hospice Social Worker or Nurse were there. Then I would stay home and talk to them plus call the facility and sometimes send my sister as well! It took 2 week but last Saturday I drove out of town for a funeral. I went back Sunday and all was well so I stayed home yesterday and again today (Hospice and my sister were there). It is ok!
We know when to focus and do that well.... but sometimes it is more difficult to break that focus than to keep it. Could we do more... probably! Is it necessary for us to do more.... probably not! We all struggle with finding that balance between having a life and care giving. If we find that balance we can go on and on. If not we burn ourselves out totally. So spend some time mentally relaxing. Sleep will follow for the physical exhaustion. Know it's a process that will come with a little effort
I still think of myself as the overseer! But I also learned to delegate. Leave the day to day to them. You are not letting go. You are just learning to share the responsibility. Take advantage of the time you have for you and use it to revive yourself. Mom will be there when you get back!
Oh, and the idea of taking that much needed vacation is one that you have to pursue. You were not here when Mom and Dad were placed in the locked unit. Mom ended up in the Geriatric Psych unit the next month. It took a couple of months to settle them in. Then my silly self flew off to Hawaii for two weeks with my daughter and her boyfriend! I have never and will never regret or feel guilty for that time. It is what has given me the strength I needed to go forward for the last 2.5 years! When life gets tough... I just think of the view from the top of Diamond Head or the feel of the sand between my toes in the water of Waikiki
there is no room for guilt as i was told but we cant help it. please take deep breaths and try to be thankful now. this is what your mom needs. take it day by day because you have the strength. more so than you or i can imagine! you will be ok