Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trick, No Treat

The siblings have decided on a senior home for mom and we're moving her in on Halloween.

After weeks of talking about it, it suddenly seems to be happening quite fast. My brother is organizing things and there are e-mails flying. My eldest sister is taking mom for a ride on Sunday and the rest of us are moving her things in. I haven't seen the room, but apparently it's nice and sunny. There's room for her bedroom set, a chair and TV. A small dining area. She has a mini-kitchen with fridge, microwave, coffeemaker and toaster oven. And her own bath. There are lots of windows and she'll have a view of SFO, which will make her happy as she loves to watch the planes take off and land.

And I feel like crap.

I've been dealing with bad daughter syndrome for years now because I'm not closer to her. And egged on by family guilt at not doing more, I've had it worse and worse. But it's finally sinking in that we're putting my mom in a home. Oh it's a nice one. Not a hospital. More of a retirement center with very nice people and lots of activities. I think it'll actually help her to have regular stimulation and company and things to do doing the day. But it remains that we're moving her out of the house she's lived in for nearly 60 years.

And she doesn't know. We haven't told her because 1) we don't know how and; 2) they advise us not to upset her until the last minute. They're the experts and know what to do. We've gotten some anti-agitation medicine and we'll all be there to show her around and make sure she's comfortable before we leave. Plus she's lost so much of her memory that even if we did tell her she wouldn't remember when she got there and we'd have to tell her all over again.

I know it's the right thing. We all do. She fell again the other day and bruised her forehead. Not seriously but, again, proof that she need more care than we can give her. They'll check in with her regularly, make sure she socializes, give her her medicine on time and, all and all, seems like the best solution.

But I still feel like crap.


The Calico Quilter said...

My heart aches for you and your family. I know you are trying to do the best thing you can for your mother; sometimes every option seems bad and you just have to pick the least distressing solution. She will be much safer there and you never know - she might acclimate nicely. With failing memory might come the ability to accept changes more easily because you don't miss what you no longer have. Don't beat yourself up about this. You are concerned about your mother's health and involved in her care - that doesn't sound like a bad daughter to me.

FinnyKnits said...

Is it possible that she has been feeling like she needed more help, too, but just didn't know how to ask? You may be giving her an option she just didn't know existed and helping her through an awkward time.

That's what I hope anyway because that is a HARD situation.

Luck, doll.

Linda Myers said...

I have been there. Once my mom was in assisted living she was safer. She didn't like it much because "I don't like being around all those old people", but it was the healthiest place we could find.

I think part of the heartache is watching the parent decline. We have all the memories, and they are losing them.

Thinking of you today.