By RuthAnn Hogue/Whiptail Publishing
Don’t judge. You don’t know how you’d react until you find yourself in an emergency room with a clearly confused mother and healthcare professionals telling you that it’s not safe for either of you to return home together.
You might feel a sudden sense of relief that your mother is finally in better hands. You might feel grateful that you will no longer be the one responsible for everything from whether she takes her medicine to taking a bath. It might initially feel as if a weight has been lifted.
Then the tears might follow. Tears that maybe you didn’t do enough while your mother was in your home. Tears that you’re no longer an adequate caregiver. That somehow, you’ve failed as a daughter. You might even feel a sense of loss for the role you’ve played in her life for the past two years.
You just never know.
That’s how it felt for me on Oct. 7 when my mother was admitted to Chandler Regional Hospital, with what at that time was no hope of returning home.
From there, all support from family, friends, spiritual leaders and medical professionals seemed to point to one solution: Finding long-term care for Mom.
Picturing her in an unfamiliar place made me sad. Knowing that medical professionals had warned against the safety of her coming home with me–for both of our sakes–made it easier. Besides, caring for her is a huge responsibility. It has taken over much of my life, if not all of it–outside of work. It’s caused me to miss work. And that could end poorly for all involved if not kept in check.
The reality was sinking in.
That’s when the story took a twist.
Test results revealed that Mom if could be managed safely on medication that she could receive in-home health care. No nursing home. No long-term care. She was to return to the place where she’d forgotten only days before was actually her home.
That was Wednesday. It’s Saturday. She’s been comfortably resting and reading at home for the past couple of days. She’s had two home health care visits. One from a nurse and one from a physical therapist.
Her medication appears to be working.
So, yes, I am relieved. No nursing home for Mom.
And, yes, I am embarrassed to admit, I’m sad that there is no full-time help for Mom.
At least we now have home health care in place. She’ll get more help than I could possibly provide on my own. A nurse is on call 24/7. They keep an eye on her blood pressure, and her PT is going to teach her balancing exercises. Apparently, she has all the strength needed to lift herself from a chair. She just chooses not to do it alone because she is afraid of falling. With balance training, her PT said he believes she will become more confident and able to get around better.
Let’s hope so.
Her fear of falling has kept her from many otherwise daily activities.
And I get the chance to do a better job. There is something about resetting the clock that makes it easier to provide care. I’m not sure why.
Maybe you do. If so, please share.
RuthAnn Hogue is the owner and founder of Whiptail Publishing’s WebTechGirl.com and BookTrailerCentral.co. She is an award-winning author and journalist with an Internet Marketing Master of Science and a B.A. in Journalism/Political Science.