Friday, February 01, 2008

Many Changes On The Homefront...

I am sure that you have noticed that I am suddenly into taking some classes to help me relax and get some exercise...and to ease your mind (or not depending on if you were concerned or not) - there isn't anything seriously wrong...just some life altering events have been happening and the way that I live my life has been altered.

As most of you know I am the caregiver to my mom, who is 91 (!) and counting...

For the last couple of years she has attended a wonderful program called Adult Day Out! She would go in the morning and return in the afternoon...leaving me time during the day to do things that needed to be done to run a household, care for myself, and get some relaxation in.

In December all that changed. She suddenly started refusing to go to the Day Out Program. I think she might have gone six or eight days the entire month...January was the same.

The problem with that scenario was that I had no one to watch her so that I could leave the house - other than for the 3 hours a week that her housekeeper was here. So, I would dash off to go to the library, post office, grocery and whatever for those three hours and dash back! We were together 24/7 for weeks on end...

It also meant she was not getting any exercise - or getting really good baths - or relating to anyone other than me. And, as it is with most caregivers who are family - the patient does not seem to always think that they have to listen to you.

Finally, her case manager and I decided it was time to move all her services to the house...and to not try and force her to go to day out as that just caused a huge fight!

So, now beginning the 28th of January -

she has a nurse who comes once a month;

a housekeeper who comes twice a week for three hours; (her main responsibility is to wash all the laundry mother seems to generate because she likes to change clothes several times a day!!! Not because they are dirty - but because she wants to... and keep her room tidy);

an LNA who comes 3 times a week to give her a bath and take her for a walk (right now we are walking the halls and climbing one set of stairs - in good weather - she will get to go outside); and,

a Personal Care Service Provider - who sits, visits, and cares for her for 16 hours a week so I can go and do some of the things that make my life better...(like my quilt guild, doctor's appointments, a ride in the country)...and,

already in just the first week things have become so much better!!! She is much happier because she sees someone other than me...and she feels like someone other than me cares about her.

We finally figured out why she didn't want to go back to Day Out - seems her best friend there died and her favorite nurse, she was feeling very lonely!!!

I am most relieved and happy...because she is getting care; she is where she is wanted and wants to be and where she is loved; and we are both having some of our needs met!

Oh...and I got a note from my doctor today - "Your thyroid function is way off! Take your Synthyroid as we discussed and we will re-evaluate in 8 weeks!" No wonder I am so tired!!!!

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At 2:51 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Well, those are two very imporatnt reasons as to why she wouldn't go to Day Out. I wouldn't want to, either. I'm glad you have found other resounces to help her and you out!

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

Well at least those changes seem to be leaning to the "better". I'm so glad that you're both getting some "time out" now ... and some health care as well.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Oh Sara, I'm sorry you've had to go through a couple of months of what must have been a very stressful situation, and I'm relieved to hear that you've found a solution that works for both of you.

At 3:33 PM, Blogger Carole Knits said...

Sounds like you've got a great plan in place now to help with your mom's care. You need time for yourself so that you don't get overwhelmed by all of this.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Pearl said...

Hello, nice to meet you. Michele sent me.

wow, no respite from that care must have been exhausting. when my dad refused a nurse so mom could get away, it was pretty hard on her.

Hope you get yr thyroid back into form. The little thing has a big impact.

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Shephard said...

I am so happy for you. I can hear the relief in your words. :) I guess sometimes we just have to hang on long enough for things to change. :)

Michele sent me today.
~S :)

At 12:45 AM, Blogger Jen said...

Wow, that's all such big changes, both for you and your mom. Anybody would be stressed!

Sounds like a marvelous plan is in place to make everything work out. :)

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

Sometimes the reason can be so simple. With a best friend passing away there, she would not be keen.

Michele sent me here.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Janet said...

It's good to know you're both getting some of what you need now. It must be so difficult to be the primary caregiver and not have any time to yourself. We all need quiet, re-charging time. Take good care of yourself (and of your mom) and enjoy all your new classes.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Jeez, you've really got it made now. I think I should move to your area before I get any older so I can plug into all that for myself!

At 4:32 PM, Blogger jennhx said...

Sara, Congrats on this new situation that will allow BOTH of you to get your needs met. That sounds wonderful!
I just found out I have a chronic (the dr used the word "permanent" even) sinus infection, and I said the same thing you did: No wonder I am so tired!
Have a wonderful weekend!

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Carmi said...

You're a remarkable daughter, Sara. We knew that already, of course. But this just clinches it.

May you both have continued health and support for many years to come.

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Janet said...

i had no idea all those services were available! i'm glad she's happy, but sorry to hear her friend died.


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