Monday, May 26, 2008

Change Coming

How’s Pearlie?

She’s doing not too badly considering.

She’s been in a nursing home for just over a week now but I’m afraid she doesn’t like it. I don’t blame her because the home she’s in is one of those huge chains. Smells like pee and staff seem a bit thin on the ground. There’s damn all going on in there other than folk just sitting around waiting to die.

We decided a couple of weeks ago that Pearlie should come over into the house with us. This is scheduled to take place in 4-5 days and Pearlie says she’s ‘dreading it’.


Pearlie doesn’t want to stay on her own any longer. She doesn’t want to go into a home and Bert doesn't want it for her either.

I’m not entirely sure why Pearlie is dreading the move across the yard. What she says is that she needs to go to the toilet at around five am and she doesn’t think that Bert and I can manage it. I don’t think we can either. When I suggested that she come to us I thought the only upheaval would be that of the carers in and out all day. But since she’s been in hospital and the home they’ve been getting her up to the toilet at the scrake of dawn – or so she says.

I say to Bert – she needs two people to help her. We cannot do it on our own.

He says – that’s just them and their health and safety regulations.

I say – you were on your own with her when she fell. I’m not going to take that risk.

Pearlie’s not the only one who is worried about what’s in front of her.


Grannymar said...

Not an easy call for any of you.

Speaking from experience... you need two people. The elderly big or small are dead weights and not always able to help you lift them.

Take all the help you can get!

Hageltoast said...

good luck. I admire anyone willing to take relatives in like this.

Zoe said...

Well, I guess that you can be thankful that she hasn't lost her marbles. I was on the Rathlin Island Puffin Bus today, sitting beside an elderly lady who thought that she was on the bus to Newtownards.

El Capitan said...

I wish I could say that elder care is an emotionally uplifting experience, but that's not been my experience. My father, the eldest of four brothers, took in his elderly mother when her group retirement home grew too expensive for her finances to manage.

It was a struggle, even with caregivers hired to assist. Grandma was sullen and problematic most of the time, and to my knowledge never showed a bit of gratitude for being kept out of the nursing home.

It caused rifts to develop between Mom & Dad, and became a full-time job with mandatory overtime towards the end of her stay. Dad finally threw in the towel when Grandma became incontinent and her health issues increased. One of his younger brothers tried for a while in his home, but eventually she had to be put in a nursing home for around-the-clock care. She didn't last but a couple of months after that.

I think we've made a grave error as a culture in the practice of removing the elderly from the home when they begin to circle the drain. Death is a natural process of existence, and trying to separate ourselves and our children from it is a futile attempt to deny the inevitable.

I wish you the best of luck with Pearlie. It will not be easy, and no doubt you'll have to listen to well-meaning but ignorant friends and neighbors constantly ask why you don't just go ahead and institutionalize her.

Ronni said...

I'm absolutely certain that her ideal situation would be for Bert to move into her home with her and look after her there.

I have been through this with Jim's mother, and it would have been very bad, had it gone on for very long. He couldn't cope at all, and I had to listen to the baby monitor, but keep it turned way down, so as not to wake him. Because she was up and down all night, muttering, and turning on the TV, and clambering out of her bed, and screaming for me in her nightmares.

I wish you all the best, and, if you need to vent, you have the perfect place, and my email addy.

Anna said...

Ronni is right about moving into Mom's house to care for her. My dad came to live with us and it was tragic. He felt comfortable and safe in his own home but became increasingly disoriented and uncomfortable in ours. It sounds like Pearlie is ok with her marbles right now but changes in location and lifestyle sometimes lead to disorientation and confusion in the elderly. My heart is with you. Very difficult times.

And, do make sure there are two to help an elder on and off the toilet. I am an RN and thought I would be just fine helping my mum-in-law once, but she panicked, fought me and almost fell and I pulled some back muscles trying to stabilize her.

Above all, take care of yourself.

Nelly said...

I appreciate these comments very much. We had a meeting with social services today and our options are still very much open ones. I sense that Bert is starting to feel a bit conflicted about it too.

Nevertheless we owe it to Pearlie and ourselves to give this our best shot. It's good to know that I've got somewhere to spill my feelings that isn't here at home where we need to stay positive.

But if you could see her. She's so bright and so smart yet so frail and vulnerable too.

Old age is not for wimps.