Monday "Memories" With My Mom

     If you have been following along, you know that my mom is living with me right now.   She took a fall down her stairs in February.  She was banged up, but not seriously injured.  After a week in the hospital, six weeks of physical therapy, and a couple months now behind her, she is getting around pretty well, although slower than before.


     I try to keep my "Mom" posts to Monday's only, and the Monday "Memories" With My Mom titles are kinda "tongue in cheek".   My mom is 67 years old and has Alzheimer's Disease along with other health issues (prior stroke, lupus, small seizures, diabetes, to name the big ones).  All of these have been overshadowed by the AD.  AD makes people uncomfortable.  It is difficult for the person diagnosed and arguably more difficult for the family. 
     Three months have gone by with my mom living with us.  Caring for her and keeping things going around the house and with my kids is becoming more and more difficult.  My mom cannot easily keep up the pace of our lives and we cannot leave her unattended.  Quick trips to the store, running up to the school, going to practices, going to games, shopping, hanging out with friends, all have to include my mom or I have to hire a "home aide" to sit with my mom and who sometimes help her with showering, hair, nails, makeup, making lunches, and just hanging out.  Luckily, I do have a very nice nursing student who comes in about once a week to give me this freedom.  I pay her about $15/hour.  My mother-in-law has generously been giving me money to help supplement the care for my mom.  I am soooo grateful for that.  Julia (our aide) is great with my mom and gets her sense of humor.... my mom likes her, too!  At the same time, I feel "rushed" when I am away.  Like I'm "on the clock".  I miss my freedom (which was limited with three busy kids anyways).
     The search is on.  I have started visiting assisted living facilities for my mom.  It is time consuming and difficult because I do not want to bring my mom on these visits at this point.  Not until I have found the right fit for her.  It will only confuse her and possibly upset her to be involved in this process.  She needs a little independence and I need to take care of myself and my kids.  I need to call the Area Agency on Aging and make a trip to Social Security and the Medicaid offices to see if my mom qualifies for financial assistance.  I have been told she likely will qualify so I need to get the process going.  I have also been told there is an approximate one year waiting list for the Medicaid...ugh!  Knowledge is power...I have more homework to do.
     I think it is important for people to understand this disease affects more than memory.  It is repetitive questions, constant reminders, but also restlessness, agitation, poor judgment, communication skills diminish, and so much more.  For me, medication management, doctors appointments, phone calls, cooking, extra laundry, and patience like I never had before, to name a few.  My mom has also taken up "shadowing"...she likes kind of following me or just standing in the middle of what I call "four corners"...the part of our house where you either head to the dining room, family room, kitchen or front door.  The most central part of "traffic" in our house...ugh!  We try to be patient and understanding, but it is difficult.  My mom would want us to keep on with our lives if she could fully understand what is happening to her and us.
     So, we are trying to make the best of.....a bad situation.  This, too, shall pass.
This Too Shall Pass
 by Helen Steiner Rice
If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be
If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me
If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too
Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains
That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Medicaid, ALFs and waiting lists! i am very familiar with all. I do the medical approval for those programs here in Florida. Thankfully our wait list is a few months here right now. I hope you are able to navigate through the process easily!