Many of you know my mom has advanced dementia, had a major seizure in April, and has been receiving hospice care ever since. Hospice has been trying to reduce her restlessness and bring more sleep and calm into mom’s life. It’s been a trying time during this hit or miss process of adjusting meds, and if you saw Dear Assisted Living Home, you’ll know it’s also been a frustrating time. That’s why three weeks ago, I decided to move my mom in with me where I could take care of her one on one along with Hospice services here.
And then I changed my mind. It was a decision based purely on emotion. A reaction to distress — my mom’s and my own.
When our daughter was five years old, she had something stuck in her throat that allowed her to breathe and talk but caused her to panic and pace the house in obvious distress. We tried everything to get it out including calling the doctor who said if she can breathe and talk, she’s probably fine. Her panicked pacing went on for about an hour, when she jumped up on our bed all flushed and bothered, stood there with arms outstretched and fists clenched, and yelled in desperation, “SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!!!” I brought her to the ER, and four hours later, with my daughter asleep in my arms, the doctor said she probably got a toothbrush bristle stuck in her throat which seemed to have worked it’s way out.
“Somebody do something!” is said to this day in our home and it always makes us smile. But my point is, this is how I felt about my mom. She’s progressing quickly, she’s agitated, her caregivers are agitated and I jumped on the bed and yelled “SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING!!!” Mom needs her family, her daughter, we need to bring her home with us! We need to do something!
Since I left Minneapolis a month ago, mom has become completely incontinent of bowel and bladder. She is no longer able to feed herself, and is having more difficulty swallowing. Walking is the only activity mom can do on her own, but she’s losing this too and a wheelchair is in her near future.
The window to move mom came and went, and I missed it. Her dementia moved so slow the first eight years or so that I wasn’t prepared for her recent rapid decline. Mom needs total care now and to remain in familiar surroundings — she won’t be going anywhere. But we’ll be going to see her. My two children and I are traveling to MN soon because Jake will be working there this summer and we wanted to make a road trip out of it.