Monday, December 14, 2009

The Plunger Incident caused some waves but we'll see...

I got an email from the ALF Director a couple of days ago.   She outlined the preventive measures they put in place after the messy plunger was left in Mom's room.  It contained all of the things I wanted to see but I am dubious. It's because I must rely on others judgement and sense of responsibility to help my mom and NO ONE will take as good care of her as I would.  

I fear what will happen - or really, what won't happen - when I'm not there to keep an eye out.   I wonder if they ensure she knows about the  nail spas, the music and singers that come to entertain and if they help her to the living room where she can have coffee and visit. 

My family and I are committed to keeping an eye out. We'll coordinate with each other and we'll report any problems to the state next time.  But, they don't visit as often as they should and I can't be there more than a week at a time, so what happens when we're not there?  What happens when she's on her own?  I spoke to a couple of the regular aides and they said they will try to keep an eye on her and on the other aides who might not care as much.   It's something - I hope for their good intentions to come true.  It's all I can do until I can get there again.

Friends judgement is hurtful enough to end relationship

A few of my friends are going through similar situations as me - trying to help a parent move into a smaller home or one who can't live home alone any longer.   One in particular gave me a really rough time the other day and I'm seeing some really old, deep-seated resentments bubbling up to the surface.   She's become mean spirited, unkind and makes catty remarks "at" me.  She's recently moved her mom into her home - which I admire because it requires so much patience and time.  Since then, when we speak she goes to great lengths to use the term "I can't be that self-centered...", "well, you don't have to give up anything like we do...".   When I speak about doing something with my husband like going to a movie, I get an eye roll and some comment like, "...if ONLY we had time to do that or, we can't, we have kids in college."

She seems to think that I've had it so easy, like I'm a spoiled child and do everything for myself.  Now it's my turn to pull the martyr act....If she only KNEW what I've had to do since my early 30's - that's 15+ years!  While she was raising a family, I was dealing with sick uncles, a terminally ill father and an epileptic Mom who needed special support to help prevent seizures.  For five years I drove 12  hours round trip every other weekend to help my parents.  I took jobs that enabled me to take 3 day weekends and that flexibility cost me raises, promotions and employers took advantage of my need for extra time.  I had no social life, no chance to meet new friends much less a nice guy.   Now I've got to work to make up for the retirement savings that I spent going back and forth.  Because I need to work now and because my Mom needs so much physical assistance, her living with me is just not a good idea.  She needs help 24-7 and I just can't do that for her. My husband and I are also trying to transition from our home in Indiana to Portland, Oregon.  We have no home to move her in to.  I also hate to move Mom to a new community because it would be difficult to find a physician willing to accept her medicare - though my "friend" would call that an excuse.

She judges me because I won't take my Mom into my home. She doesn't want to see that I can't - and there are a variety of reasons but she's too busy being judgemental and self righteous to listen to them.    I've spent years being understanding of her needs, attitudes, her choices and I've been happy that she's created a wonderful life and family.   I'm not getting the same understanding - I feel like I'm a supportive friend but when I need a friend, it's not there.   I see the need for the old saying...." with friends like that...who needs enemies."   I don't feel like I have a friend in her any longer.  I makes me really sad but I am also resolved to remove the toxic relationships in my life. She'd call that self-centered, I call it self-preservation.