I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know..

As I mentioned recently, we have put mom in a long term care facility. It has been a crazy learning experience. A friend of mine is beginning the process, and while her situation is quite a bit different than mine, she has put it perfectly –

I don’t know what I don’t know…

I know what I thought I knew – I thought that you had to have an expiration date to go to a hospice. No, and they have so many more things that they will help with aside from just end of life care. I thought a doctor had to put a person into a long term care facility. Only sort of.  I thought once you were in one, you lost all freedom. No. You can still leave – if your health permits, with family, on day trips that the facility goes on, etc.

thought that you had to be well off to pay for it. Not necessarily. Actually, it sometimes helps to have nothing. You don’t get into the Taj Mahal of nursing homes, but they aren’t all cesspools. Mom is in a nice one. They are not all perfect. The nurse to patient ratio tends to be higher than I like, but they are very nice. The food seems to be pretty good and the place is very clean (I have stayed in much, much dirtier hotels that Travelocity has rated 5 stars).

While yes, mom would still much rather be home, she does understand.

She is also doing much better health wise than she has in a very long time.

My advice to everyone now is – make sure you have your ducks in a row before you can no longer quack.



5 responses to “I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know..

  1. Morguie – QUIT SMOKING NOW while you can, please! This is where half of my mother’s problems started. It will be WORSE if you don’t – OK…off my soap box – for now… much love!

  2. Sorry to hear that…even though this post is over a yr old…My own mom has become too much for my sis to handle at home now so we had to make a hard decision…she is in a residential care living place. $4k/mo. I went last week to see her and she has tuned out like I am not present. I wish I could take her home to care for her myself but I cannot perform the physical work it takes to lift her, etc. It kills me. I feel so bad that she cannot remain in her home…even if just to die there. The guilt and bad feelings are a burden for me. It keeps me from seeing her more often (yes, in our town only a cpl miles away—I am shameful for a daughter)

    • don’t allow these feelings to be a burden. It has taken me quite a while to get to where I can say this – there are times that come in our lives where what we want to do is different from what should be done. There are people who can do it. Who have the patience and ability to care for their aging parents at home. I am not one of those people.
      My mother living with me caused major problems between me and my husband. So, it was something that had been coming for quite a while, and when she started falling, that was the final straw.
      It has been hard. I admit, I do still feel guilty.People say, your parents were there when you needed them, so you should do the same. Well, mom wasn’t taking care of us, her children, and her parents and life was so much different then.
      Do not feel ashamed for not getting by to see her, again, you have a life. You have your things you have to do. I know I do. I returned from a trip and went straight back to work. My refrigerator is almost empty, the house is a mess, the kid needs his books and school clothes bought and ready in 6 days…I finally get a day off this Friday and do I get to do these things? Um. No. I have to take her to get her hair done and nails done. Eventually, I will get the things I need to do, done. I hope, I have to MAKE myself make the time for her, but I do not feel guilty. I have a family and they need me too. Mom has made friends there, and hopefully your mom will too. It takes a while for their resentment to go away, too.

      Morguie – you have my email address. Anytime.

      • You are so generous with your limited time to give a heartfelt response..thanks ever so much Anna. I appreciate your moral support. It is tough to realize the hard fact that somewhere along the way we changed roles with our mothers; they are our children and no longer our parents. I do not look forward to getting old. Perhaps if I keep smoking I won’t have to worry about that? I know, NOT funny…but it is true, damnit! 😉 Take care my friend and be kind to yourself. Soon the kids will be grown and gone…try to find the beauty in the chaos.

  3. Even though some of your concerns were put to rest, it still must be a scary decision. I used to work in an assisted living facility though and it was great. The staff were all very wonderful and sincerely cared about the residents.

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