Someone’s Life In My Hands


It is scary to realize I have to decide the direction my Mom’s life will take.  It is a big responsibility and I want to do what is best for her and for us.  My biggest fear is making the wrong decision about what adult family home will be her new home – I know it has to be done and I am looking for the place that is the right fit for her.

The program I enrolled her in at Providence has done a great job of providing so much – a day center to interact with other people, all her medical care, supplies, help in finding a place for her, pharmacy – it is a great program.  I have gone to see three adult family homes, the first was okay but had a lot of drawbacks even though the owner is known for her patience and good care of dementia patients.  The second is a good potential place, still some questions to answer.  The third was okay but a bit far out from us and not quite as nice as the second.  However, the woman who owns it is good with dementia patients where the second is a somewhat unknown quantity.  But I need to look at others and let’s face, labor Day weekend is a bit difficult to find people home.  I have looked through the list and made notes, so I now have to at least drive by and see how they look.  Some have a picture of the front, but not necessarily very clear or angled for a proper look.  I also used the satellite photos as well, I could see fairly close and tell if they have a back yard, how big the house is, etc.

This all makes me very uncomfortable, I know being uncomfortable means out of my comfort zone, stretching and learning; I’ll be honest, I would rather have someone else do it.  But it is my responsibility and I need to make sure it works for Mom.  I feel as if I am between a rock and hard place – it’s getting very difficult to have her living here but it is difficult to work on the process of finding her a place to live.  I get that tickle of fear in my stomach and want to be anywhere but here.  Yet I know God has already created a solution that works and I am working on letting go and allowing the solution to emerge.  It isn’t easy because I keep obsessing about the whole thing because I don’t want to “get it wrong”.  I feel sharp pains on my left side from my spastic colitis  as I think about what to do and where is best.

My life would be a lot easier and less stressful with Mom in an adult family home.  I can’t give her the care she needs and to be honest, I don’t have any patience left.  I have to cancel my life to accommodate her or to do the things that are necessary – doesn’t leave much time for my life.  My business is down the tube because of it – though the broken hip didn’t help either.  She goes to the Center 4 days a week, but that doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time to do much.  And if she isn’t ready for the van, as happened last week, I had to take her over – there went my day alone because I also needed to talk to the social worker.  By the time I got home, I only had time for a nap.

I am at the end of my energy, I am tired physically all the time and as for mentally and emotionally, I am so weary and getting close to the end of my rope.  It is very energy and time consuming even with care givers here, I couldn’t do it without then. I tell them every time how much I appreciate what they do and thank them for being here – I also had quite an education when I was in rehab.  I told all the caregivers thank you and how much I appreciate every thing they do.  After a bit I would ask if they were tired of hearing me say it; most often they said they weren’t tired of hearing it, it made up for those who never said anything.

I have started reading a book called “Contented Dementia”, recommended to me by my caregiver counselor.  Yes, I have one and we met last Wednesday.  I have seen her several times, her job is to be there for me and help me understand what is happening as well as solutions to situations I don’t know how to handle.  She thought this book would help me especially in understanding more about what is going on as well as how to answer some of those questions Mom asks and I don’t know how to respond.  Lately, Mom has asked about my Dad and was really upset and unhappy when I told he was gone – it was as if she had not heard the news before.  Wow! does that make me feel terrible!  She now asks where her parents are, so I am learning to say they are here.  If she asks where they are, I tell her they a far away.  She has asked me where my mother is – the first time I told her she is my mother.  You would have thought I had hit with a cattle prod because she looked so shocked.  Now I have learned to say my mother is at home.  If Mom asks where, I just say she lives close by.

Every day is different and I wonder what the day will bring – something funny, a question I don’t know how to answer, her stubbornness and refusal to take a shower or change her clothes or not wanting to go to the Center.  All I want is some peace and quiet.

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