I took mom to an adult family home yesterday. It was a nice place I had checked out earlier. Mom was nervous, but I assured her that no one was going to make her move anywhere against her will. The hospice chaplain met us there for moral support. He really didn’t do much, but for some reason I was glad he was there, in case we needed an impromptu, “Oh, Lord…”.
Mom had to go to the bathroom when she first arrived and immediately complained about the commode support chair sitting atop the commode.
“What do they think,” she said, “that we’re all six feet tall?”
She surveyed the bedroom and wanted to know if she could bring her bed.
“Where’s the shower,” she asked and was shown the shower, a short walk through someone else’s bedroom. About that time the lights went out (a blown circuit) and the owner had to leave for a minute to trip the breaker. That confused mom.
We headed to the kitchen via the living room and we sat down at the kitchen table where the residents eat their meals.
“These chairs are really uncomfortable,” mom said. “At my place, I use pillows.”
“We could get you pillows, or even a new chair,” I said.
Mom was friendly but wanted to make sure her needs could be met.
“I have lymphedema and I have a massage at night,” she told the owner.
The owner said she didn’t know how to do it, but she could learn.
“I wear support hose. Can you put those on?”
Mom asked about nighttime care.
“Well,” the owner said, “there is no one up in the night. I’m downstairs and there are no call-buttons.”
I told the owner that mom could get up in the night, but what about when she can’t. Thus, the reason to move her to a 24-hour facility.
“She’ll have to wear Depends all night. Would you be willing to do that,” she asked mom.
Then she asked mom what time she goes to bed.
“No one is up after 9. My caregiver goes home.”
We decided that mom will stay where she is for the immediate future. I rescinded the 30-day notice I had given the manager and remarked that mom hadn’t fallen in more than a year. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
This morning I got a call from her Link to Life service. She had fallen and unlike previous managers, rather than get her up themselves, they called the paramedics. Good boundaries, but mom was none to happy.
After the paramedics came mom said she wondered if they were people who just went around picking up people who had fallen.
“They didn’t look like paramedics,” she said. “But either one of them could have picked me up and thrown me over their shoulder.”
The sales manager at the facility is a former social worker and has worked in the nursing home business. She told me that mom is in the right place
“If you move her at this point, she’ll probably die. At least now, she has some quality of life. And, if you leave her here, she could live another five years.”