True to all expectations, November is turning out to be a pretty crappy month so far. I have been trying my best to see some light through the heavy layer of clouds hanging low in the skies. In fact, I have been looking forward to a couple of much-needed days out of the office this week. I was planning to take a short trip, a mixture of business and pleasure, with people whose company I enjoy. Enter November, the month were all joy is quickly extinguished, and it looks like I won’t be going anywhere. Even as I made these plans, there was a knot in my stomach. I worried that something would happen, and it has.
This morning I received a call from a nurse at my mom’s assisted living facility. This person informed me that when my mom hadn’t shown up for breakfast, she had gone up to Mom’s apartment to check on her. What she discovered, according to this woman, was a “shit storm.” My God! Who uses words like that to an elderly person’s family member?
Mom is sick again. She had apparently been ill all night long, and all over. Her mattress has to be disposed of. (Today I will mattress shop at lunchtime.) The recliner in her room is going to have to be cleaned. The carpets and bedding were a mess as well. Mom is running a fever, is unable to eat or drink, will not be able to go to dialysis today, and is refusing to go to the hospital.
I understand. Mom is ready to give up. There has been one episode after another all strung together. She doesn’t want to get better. She doesn’t want to be away from the things that are familiar to her. She doesn’t want to go to the hospital, and I understand all of that.
Here’s what I don’t understand. I don’t know what to do. The nurse said that they can’t make her go to the hospital. They can’t call an ambulance while she is conscious and refusing to go. (If she passes out, then they can call an ambulance.) They can’t make her go to the hospital, but they can refuse to allow her to stay there under these circumstances. Where in the world does that leave me? She won’t go to the hospital, but it sounds very much like she is being kicked out of the assisted living facility because she is too sick to take care of herself.
Thankfully, the nurse I have been dealing with is kind. She is going to allow Mom to stay there for the day to see if she turns a corner….one way or another. God, I understand. I certainly understand hard-headedness. I understand why Mom is basically saying, “Enough is enough.” I’m just not sure what my role is in this. I don’t know at what point I am to intervene.
Oh, how I hate November.
I understand about the challenging relationship you have with your Mom. I doubt she signed over Power of Attorney to you or T, so I don’t know exactly what you can “make” her do. Coming to your house is NOT an option. Is it an option for her to go back to your childhood home and have in-home care?
And by the way, BIG (((((hugs)))). I’m sorry November is being such a bitch.
Yes, I do have Power of Attorney. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a darn thing as long as the medical staff perceives her as being able to rationally make her own decisions. That’s OK, though, because she SHOULD be able to continue to speak for herself.
As for her returning home or coming to my home, that is not an option. We live too far outside of the city. Mom goes to dialysis three times each week, and there is no way for her to get back and forth from those appointments. We don’t have cabs or medical transport. I would have to quit my job to take care of her (which has been suggested.)
There is a higher-level care unit at the facility where she now lives. She just doesn’t want to go there, and I don’t blame her. It is basically a nursing home. Just not a good situation…
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