Posts Tagged ‘Assisted Living’

Officialdom Grinds Slowly

July 12, 2012

I have been frustrated the past few weeks working on finding a place for my Mom.  She is now at a point where she needs more care and also more social activity.  I have found a place that combines a place to live and also a day center in another location that will provide her with a doctor, OT, PT, Social Worker, Dentist, etc.  My husband and I checked out the  day center and we really liked what we saw.  It was clean, didn’t smell and people were engaged in activities.  So we decided to enroll her in the program.  I gave Corina Mom’s SSN and she fax info over for a request to have an evaluation done.  Then they would be able to better decide what would best serve her needs – assisted living, adult family home.  Then she went on holiday for a week.  I was supposed to hear from the group who would do the evaluation but I didn’t hear Boo.

It had taken 2 weeks to meet her and tour the facility, now another week before anything happened.  When she came back from holiday, the fax never went through, so she called them and they said they would have a case manager assigned.  She told me that if I didn’t hear anything by Friday I was to call and find out the name.  Another week of waiting.  To be honest, I was very antsy to put this all in place, but I finally realized that there is a reason why things are taking so long – I haven’t a clue what it is.  It is hard to be patient but I am working on it.  I called Friday, was given the name of the case manager and was transferred to her line.  She was off that day, had been out in the field the day before and the day before that was a holiday.  So it is wait until Monday.

Monday came and and I had a voicemail from the woman – except she was out in the field with a phone with no voicemail.  The Universe sometimes has a strange sense of humor.  We finally connected in the afternoon – only to find she thought Mom was ready for Medicaid and if she did the assessment (2 – 4 hours) she would have to place Mom by the end of the month.  I was trying to explain that we were told it was to see what kind of living situation would best suit Mom’s needs.  She said she would talk to Corina and tell her the situation.  I emailed Corina to let her know what was happening and apparently on Tuesday was most upset talking to the manager.  I didn’t hear about it until Tuesday afternoon when the case manager called me.  Apparently she and her boss worked it out with Corina, though she wouldn’t be able to do the assessment until July 25th.

Meanwhile I had a bio of Mom to fill out the the place – not sure I answered everything because some things I don’t know.  In between all the phone calls, etc., I went over and dropped the necessary paperwork they need.  I had a heck of a time finding it – they rent space from a rehab and nursing center.  The first time I dropped of paperwork, I went to the front desk but they had no idea who I was looking for when they checked their list.  Well, they wouldn’t because they only have info on the people who are part of the rehab and nursing center.  She sent me upstairs and I found it again from our tour the other week.  Not so easy this week, there is construction going on in the hallway that takes you to the day center.  I ended having someone show me how to get there and finally things looked familiar.  I knew I could go through the cafeteria but I could figure out which door – we had come out through it rather than going in.  The benefits were that I had a good walk and I delivered the paperwork.  Now it is hurry up and wait again.

I have to keep telling myself I have put it in God’s hands to create a solution that works for everyone.  When I keep running the squirrel wheel of worrying and trying to “fix it”, it is as if I keep snatching out of God’s hands.  It is saying I don’t trust that the Universe takes care of me and the people involved.  There other things that need attention as well and if I keep in the squirrel cage too long or too fast, I will be like the tiger in “little Black Sambo” and turn into butter.

I am getting a lot better at recognizing when I am getting into a funk and I just tell ego – thank you for sharing, I choose something else.   I am tired of allowing myself to be sucked in by negative thoughts and feelings, mine as well as other people’s.  I also am recognizing I have a choice and  when I feel it from other people, I wrap myself in my golden bubble to protect myself because it is not about me.  Even though I am frustrated and not sure how it is going to work out at times, I am definitely learning patience.

Clearing The Garden

July 1, 2012

This has been quite an interesting week.  Last Friday John Van Zanten  of Van Zanten Landscapes came by with his crew and spent from 7 a.m. to almost 4 p.m.  chopping down the jungle.  Unfortunately the yard had become so overgrown that the blueberries were being squeezed unmercifully by blackberry vines, holly and the wisteria.  Meanwhile, the raspberries were lost in the tall grass.   When they emerged into the daylight, they were small and rather sparse but with berries on their branches waiting to ripen.  The pink dogwood was buried in tall grass with a small alder tree growing right next to it – that bed is clear and the Fontinia stump has some sprouts coming out of the top.  We have a big stickery bush on the corner of the front window that grows so tall it blocks the view – so does the forsythia at the other end.  For the moment it is trimmed way back but will be growing again with more energy.  It is  quite a difference now – they even unearthed the McIntosh apple tree by the hedge – poor thing was so overwhelmed it kept sending branches farther out into the yard for sun.  Now it has sun but the back part is all bare.

John and his crew came back on Monday to do some more clearing – there is still a third in the back by the street that needs clearing out as well.  I asked Nancy of Artistic Garden Concepts to come by and give me some ideas about plants for the bare beds.  I want good looking plants that are very low maintenance and she had some great ideas.  So we will work on a 2 stage plan – otherwise it is  a lot in one go.  So I will check with John to see how soon we can replant with low vibernum and a couple of other lower growing ground covers.

While they were out clearing the undergrowth, I was in the process of clearing out and organizing the office.  I accomplished a lot in those two days, though it didn’t really show on the surface.  Then I had my haircut much shorter than usual – I like not having to fuss with hair dryer, styling and hairspray.  It may not be as short as Judi Dench or Jamie Lee Curtis, but not a whole lot longer.  I have spent the last year or so clearing out old stuff inside me with my deep tissue massage – would one say it is a good spring cleaning all around?

We are in the process of finding a place for my Mom to live, she is at the point where she is very, very confused and really needs more care.  She is getting close to the late stages of dementia and we want to do the best for her and for us.  We found a place in West Seattle that has Adult Family Homes and Assisted Living.  I am not sure which will work for Mom.  There is also a Day Center for them to go during the day, plus she will have a doctor, OT, PT, Social Worker, dentist, etc. to make sure she is well  and is at  her best.  Once I get the paperwork in – the young woman was on holiday last week so I have to give it to her on Monday.  There will be a case worker to assess what suits Mom, then they will recommend places for us to see.  We will probably choose two and show those to Mom to see which she likes.  Kathy has been laying the groundwork and has been an enormous help and has also become a really good friend.

I will admit to being close to the end of my rope, even with caregivers every day.  If she is up for breakfast with me, we go through 50 questions and after the 8th time she has asked a question, I am ready to tear my hair.  She can be stubborn, ornery and contrary at times, other times she is quite cooperative.   She wants to leave this life so much, but she is scared and confused – she is scared there won’t be anything after she is gone.  She so wants to believe that Dad and Josephine the cat will be there to greet her, but isn’t ready to let go of this life she doesn’t want to live any more.  It upsets and hurts me to see her like that, I want to fix it and make it all better – but I know I can’t.  I reassure her they are waiting for her – I asked Monty on Friday if he could see anything for Mom and he said they are preparing a place for her with guides to help her through the transition.  I believe it but even when I tell Mom that, she doesn’t believe it.  Is it too good to be true for her, therefore it must not be true?  Maybe deep down she doesn’t feel worthy.

Someone told me awhile back that this is the hardest part – no kidding!  I have been going to caregiver’s support groups and I realize I am quite fortunate that Mom is not violent, doesn’t wander off, isn’t incontinent or swears at everyone.  She sleeps a lot and that also helps too.  But it is difficult to see the woman who has been such a big part of my life not recognize me except occasionally and is as confused and unsure as a 3 or 4 year old.  When she is finally able to truly let go and join my Dad, it will be upsetting for me.  I also will know she is no longer confused and scared, instead she will be free, light and filled with joy.

I have been feeling that all this clearing out is also in preparation of all of us going into a new life.  Hanging on to the past and all the “stuff” from it  means there is no space for new things to come in – I am working on that just in my own life as well.


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