Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two months away from Mom and I see a big difference

I've said before that I think Mom ages in spurts and I saw more evidence of that today.  I hate to admit it but she seems even weaker, paler and in some moments more easily confused but she is still trying very hard to  stay "with it".

She is using the wheel chair to move from her recliner to the bathroom and back and also to all of her meals.   Getting into and out of the wheel chair is exhausting for her.  Today, the maintenance man installed a floor to ceiling "grab pole" to give her something to hang onto as she gets moves from recliner to wheel chair and back.   I don't know if it will help or hurt.  She has no strength in her hands so I don't know if a vertical bar  will be beneficial; a horizontal bar seems more practical but they can't install something like that.  She grabs on to the arms of these chairs and tries to pivot on her feet but her poor old knees don't hold her up for more than a minute or two at a time.

After spending 30 minutes with her and the nurse from the ALF, we finally got on our way to a ride in the sunshine.   During the ride she was clear for the most part, she complained about the food - it's quality and quantity - given the nearly $3000 a month for rent.  She complained about the frequency of laundry and is concerned about her funds running out - which they are. She wants to pay rent and feels cheated at times.   She is able to be objective because she realizes she needs a lot of help and that the employees try hard to help her and always come when she calls.  Ten minutes later she had trouble remembering where we were and wondered about seeing a friend and finding their house.  Unfortunately the friends had been gone for years.   I gently pointed that out and she began to name the friends she's lost in the last decade... she got sad, as usual, and counted, on one hand, those that are left.  I'll take her to see them next week and hope that makes her feel better.