Friday, June 4, 2010

Just when I thought Mom was adjusting...

On Memorial Day we visited more dead relatives than live ones... there were 14 graves and 10 people for lunch.  I returned Mom to the nursing home and she seemed okay.  However, when I returned the next day, she asked me "Do I have to stay here until I die?"  Each time she asks my heart sinks.  I never say "Yes, STOP ASKING!!"  I use my mantra:  "Your safety comes first, your house won't accommodate a wheelchair. The halls and doors are too small, the bathroom is too cramped.  You can't be alone since you're so weak...."  Then I change the subject, a distraction technique that parents use with little kids.   

This time she came back to her point. She got teary eyed and said that she helped everyone else stay home.  She kept my dad at home.  Other elderly people simply say, "Take me home." My Mom wonders where she'll die.   It's heart wrenching and I wish she could be home.  I wish I was able to take her home but I just can't do it.  I've GOT to work.   Deep inside I realize she knows this, we began talking about it 15 years ago and she told me then to save for my own future.  If her doctor told me tomorrow that she only had a few months left, I'd take her home and live with her there.  I'd do anything she needed but, she's in great shape for a 90 year old and could live for several more years.  

In this case, I just knelt next to her chair, put my arms around her and hugged her.  We both cried a little then she changed the subject.  I guess she's used the distraction tactic too.   It worked well enough for us to have an affectionate moment and say a loving good bye.  I know she'll ask again because her memory is starting to fail and home is always there where she was capable, had lots of familiar people around and where she felt best.  
Mom constantly asked asks to go home what do I tell mom when she asks to go home?