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Re: too much
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Posted by Tina Ellenburg
on November 30, 1999 at 19:53:55:
In Reply to: too much posted by G on November 17, 1999 at 03:37:40:
Oh my dear friend. You make perfect sense. I moved in to care for my grandparents after my grandfather had a stroke. I was a full time single mom and going to school full time too and they were terrified of nursing homes. I did it for 5 years and wondered if I did the right thing on a daily basis. Grandpa raised chickens, ducks, and turkeys right in the city and it was nothing to come home to him trying to strangle a chicken for dinner and me having to finish the job so the poor animal didn't suffer any longer. Grandpa was paralyzed on his right side but with a lot of effort on my part he was able to walk. But his mind was affected terribly. My grandmother had been sick most of her life and both were bad diabetics and had heart disease.
This is the main reason I went to nursing school. I had an idealistic belief that I would go to work in a nursing home and make a dramatic difference. Of course it doesn't quite work this way but I did make a difference in many lives if only a slight difference.
In my experience the family is who suffers the most with an aging and ill parent or grandparent. You are in a vicious cycle---damned if you do and damned if you don't and the guilt keeps you from placing your loved one in a nursing home permanently.
By the sounds of it your grandmother is getting worse especially since she is noncompliant and she knows how to work you all and make you feel guilty. It doesn't matter if your mom and she have issues that aren't resolved. The best thing for you all to do is to research the nursing homes in your area and choose the best one you can afford. She is eligible for medicare and medicaid no doubt. When you decide to find the right home go look at them without an appointment. Just show up and see how the patients are treated. Does it smell like urine in the halls at all? Are the residents clean and dressed at meal time? Does the staff mix all the food up and shove it in their mouths or do they feed them as they would feed themselves? Talk to the residents and see how they like the home. Are they happy? Are there regular activities for the residents? Is the home chronically under staffed? Don't be afraid to ask questions and don't accept pat answers. Check with the state board of nursing homes to see if there have been complaints of abuse, or neglect on this particular home.
One you want to look at offers in house physical therapy, lots of activities, adequate staffing, meals that are attractive and smell good. Ask to eat lunch there once and see if the food is palatable----without notice.
Your grandmother needs care you can't give her as much as you love her. And it is not being neglectful or unloving to place her in a nursing home. It is in fact the hardest and most loving thing you can do for her. After she is placed she may be angry, but if you visit frequently and listen when she talks or complains she will eventually come around. And if she isn't to have a private room ask that she be placed in a room with someone like her----able to talk and get around, similar interests and similar problems---this helps a great deal.
I wish you luck. You are in a very difficult situation. And I have been on both sides----as caregiver and as a charge nurse in a nursing home. Email me if you just need to talk or ask questions, anything. Tina Ellenburg firstname.lastname@example.org is my real name and personal email address. I am here if you need me anytime.
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