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So...How was your morning?

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simplydevastated posted 9/4/2013 11:52 AM

Because mine sucked!

I get a call at 6:40 this morning from my sister. I'm half awake and not fully registering that the phone is ringing even though it's loud. Anyway...she doesn't leave a message. I call her back and she doesn't answer. I then get a lovely text message from her. "On my way over to mom to pick her up off the floor. She fell last night and it took her all night to crawl across the floor to reach the phone. No there's nothing wrong!" The last sentence is what pissed me off. She couldn't just say mom fell last night can you come and help me.

She apparently thinks I'm in denial about the proper care for her and that she knows best. She is still talking about putting her in a home. I'm pissed because I don't think she needs one. She's still very with it and the only trouble that she's having is her knee. It gives out and that's why she fell.

I show up at mom's and she's already sitting in a chair in her living room. She was alert, but mostly embarrassed which I don't blame her. I feel awful that my mother had to spend her night like that.

Now, back up approximately last week or so. We both went to her doctor's appointment. I'm on her chart as a HIPAA contact and unfortunately so is my sister now. My sister is telling the doctor what she sees, I'm telling the doctor what I see. They both don't mesh. My mom is telling the doctor what she sees. Basically three different stories.

The doctor performs a brief memory test. She asked her 30 different questions - What year is it, what's today's date, Who are your daughters, what is your address, etc... She passed each question 30 out of 30.

The doctor then ordered a series of blood tests and they took 6 vials. The test come back and she has no UTI, Blood sugar is normal, b-12 is good, kidneys are fine, LDL cholesterol is high, Thyroid is high. She has to have more lab work in one month. She's back on thyroid meds and cholesterol meds. Apparently this is not good enough for my sister. She doesn't believe that mom is continuing to do her physical therapy exercises at home. I believe she is. She can stand up from a seated position much better than before. So I'm seeing an improvement, why would she need to go into a nursing home. My understanding of a nursing home is for people who can't care for themselves at all and is no longer functioning at in an independent way.

Then my sister is telling me when I come over to clean (not that she's volunteering to help) to make sure I do this and that. She can certainly tell me what to do but she won't help.

I had to wait to post this to calm down, but now that I'm writing this out I'm getting angry all over again.

What is wrong with people. Why do some people just want to tuck people away when that person just needs some extra help. My mom took care of us for all those years, why can't we take care of her now?

Deeply Scared posted 9/4/2013 12:13 PM


What does your mom want? I ask because it seems that you and your sister want two very different things.

simplydevastated posted 9/4/2013 12:23 PM

My mom doesn't want to be in a nursing home. She knows she's not ready. When I look at her she looks sad.

Deeply Scared posted 9/4/2013 12:39 PM

Who has Power of Attorney? If your mom is of sound mind she can't be forced (as far as I know) out of her home and into assisted living.

ExposedNiblet posted 9/4/2013 13:17 PM

I'm so sorry you're going through this SD. I don't have any words of wisdom, I'm afraid, but just wanted to let you know that I'm behind you 100%.

It's so hard to watch our parents age, isn't it? The ones who once looked after us now need help from us.

I know absolutely nothing about the healthcare system in the States, and am only going by what's available here in Canada, so YMMV, of course. Here, there are varying degrees of assisted living available. They range from places where a senior looks after everything on their own (ie. meals, laundry, etc.) and only has someone check up on them every so often, all the way to hospital-like settings where a senior relies on others 100% and is essentially bedridden. Many seniors hear the words "nursing home" and simply assume that it's the latter, where they wait until The End comes. It simply isn't the case. In many assisted living complexes, which essentially look like high-end condos, these seniors have a much more active and enjoyable social life than if they had remained alone in their own houses, as so many of them want to do. Perhaps there is something along these lines where you are that your mom might want to look into.

I am in no way suggesting that your dear mother needs a home, SD, this is nothing more than information for information's sake. I'm hoping that it may be helpful to your family somehow.

There used to be medical panic button necklaces available for seniors, where, in the event of an emergency fall, they could press a button and EMS would be dispatched to them. Would this be an option, perhaps? Mom could continue living in her home and you and your sister would have peace of mind knowing that help was available if needed.

Good luck SD. I'll be thinking about you.

simplydevastated posted 9/4/2013 14:24 PM

DS, no one has power of attorney that I know of. She is of sound mind. That's the problem and that's why I don't agree with my sister. My grandmother had alzheimers and eventually she had to be put in a nursing home. I understood that, and agreed with it. I'm almost thinking that's my sister's issue. She helped take care of my grandmother and now doesn't want to do it again.

If I'm right, that's sad

Thanks so much, EN. We have places like that here, too. There are a couple right in my town. One of them specializes in alzheimers patients. I was thinking this morning, on my way home, to go and talk to them, find out the "ins and outs" about how things are run and get their professional opinion so when (hopefully never) the time comes I'll have the knowledge to make the best decision for my mother.

I remember those buttons. I'll have to look into those. She's not house bound so I'm not sure if it would work outside the home or if it's something she can use just when she's home. She still goes down to my sister's store to help her out so she is more than capable.

I talked to her again this afternoon and she sounded fine. She does have a bump on her head from the fall. She said she fell like a ton of bricks, nothing graceful about this fall. But she doesn't seem to have any issues from the bump which is good.

Sad in AZ posted 9/4/2013 18:06 PM

Sweetie, I know you don't want to hear this, but I think you're in a bit of denial. If your mom can easily raise herself from sitting to standing, she should not have had to spend the night on the floor after a fall until help arrived, even a hard fall.

You should also be aware the she wouldn't have to go from her own home to a nursing home; there are interim steps--senior living, assisted living, then nursing home.

Senior living--they do everything for themselves except (in some cases) cook. Some places actually are just self-contained apartments or condos for seniors only. Others have dining facilities and can be quite nice.

Assisted living--they can have help getting dressed, bathing, cleaning, etc. but are still ambulatory. The complexes offer buses that take residents shopping, to religious services, to shows, etc. They can be quite nice and inexpensive up to ridiculously expensive. You have to do your homework.

In many cases, assisted living places have the next step-nursing home-on premises as the last step in life's journey.

I used to administer a program for the 'I've fallen and I can't get up' units, and no, they often don't work outside. Their range is limited by distance from the unit and the construction of the dwelling.

If your mom is not ready to move into senior living, she should carry her cell phone with her RELIGIOUSLY. Just like with teenagers, seniors have to be responsible if they are going to live alone.

Amazonia posted 9/5/2013 08:21 AM

I'm with Sad on this one - there are retirement communities or whatever you call them that have graduated care options. Many people buy a condo on the grounds, and live there completely independent but still have access to the various amenities (we have been trying to talk my grandmother into moving into one for years now ). The one we are looking at for my gma has yoga classes, a pool, water aerobics, a huge library, a wii game room, restaurants that are really affordable, a coffee shop, activities every night, a huge wood working studio, and a bunch more stuff. And the doctors and nurses are right there 24/7. I was telling gma if she didn't want to live there, just to buy in and I would go in her place.

As the health deteriorates, there are also apartments and dorm style rooms on the same property, with increased nursing care and assistance with things like falls or memory lapses or meds, etc. It's cool, because they can buy into the condo part, and then when they need to move a few years (or many years) later, that original purchase price applies toward their new digs, like they trade the condo for the apartment and then trade the apartment for the dorm rooms that are more like what you think of as a "nursing home" and don't have to keep paying every time. I think there is also a monthly fee, like your HOA dues or condo fees but to cover the medical care as well as amenities.

Have you, your sister or your mom actually checked out any of the facilities in your area?

little turtle posted 9/5/2013 09:13 AM

I think your mom doesn't need a nursing home, but needs more support than she is currently getting. I think your mom knows this as well. Why did she call your sister to help her this morning? Your sister is pushing to get your mom more support. While it sounds like there isn't anything medically wrong with your mom, she could use some help. Can you and your sister take turns helping your mom around the house every day? What was your mom doing when she fell? Is there anyway that could be prevented from happening again? Is she using a walker/cane?

As others have already mentioned, there are options besides a nursing home for your mom. Check out your options that are right in town. See if it's something that your family can afford and talk with your mom about what she wants.

Why do some people just want to tuck people away when that person just needs some extra help.

You said it yourself... your mom needs some extra help. See what you can find to help her out.

movingforward777 posted 9/5/2013 09:44 AM

If your Mum is of sound mind now is the time to get her to a lawyer and get a POA for personal and financial care done, along with her Will. The lawyer will do his/her own assessment of your Mum's capabilities to make these legal decisions, and whether or not she is being pressured into signing anything.
It sounds as if your Mum wants to stay in her home, but needs more support to be able to do so. Look into getting someone to come in and help through the different agencies....the Dr can probably assist you in finding out about them.
My Mum went into a "Rest Home". Yes it is expensive, but it helps her maintain her independance, but supports her for meals, meds, they take her and tub bath/shower her, clean her room, change the sheets etc.
I still look after her financial dealings, shop for the things she needs, and they call me if she is sick.
Mum can come and go as she pleases, have visitors come for a meal, and has her own room with her own furniture/belongings.
It is a great compromise!
Good luck with your Mum, I hope all that was hurt in her fall was her pride.....HUGS

woundedwidow posted 9/5/2013 10:18 AM

Your Mom should absolutely have both a financial and a medical POA on file to make sure that that the person who will follow HER wishes has the authority to do so. She should also have a will drawn up, if she has not already done so. BTW, there ARE personal alert devices that will work outside the home, or even in a car - check any copy of AARP magazine and you will find ads for them so you can get info from the companies. You and your Mom need to be very careful when evaluating senior living and assisted living facilities, should she ever choose to go to one of those. A good one is very expensive, unless it takes Medicare patients - and then it is not usually a very good one. The best ones are private pay only. Your Mom and her attorney and perhaps financial advisor, or you if you have financial POA, need to evaluate her present and future stream of income and compare it to the present and future costs of these types of facilities. My Mom initially resisted going into assisted living after her knee replacement surgery at 89, but she lived in a 3-story house, and both my sister and I lived out of state. When she did move, she loved the social life that she had been missing living alone. Later on, when her dementia came on and developed into Alzheimers, she transitioned in-house into the same facility's Memory Care unit, where she passed away this January. She never even realized that she had moved into a different room, and was very happy to the end. So there are a lot of options available for your Mom, but it is really important for someone to have POA, because that person will have total legal and medical control of your Mom's future should she become incapacitated.

Jrazz posted 9/5/2013 18:33 PM


JUST seeing this now. Ugh, I'm so sad and frustrated for you.

I wish you could just text her back and say, "I want to have a functional dialogue with you. Can you please put your "bitch" switch in "off" mode for just a little while?"

You just do what you can for your mom and try to imagine a foghorn sound over where you sister is talking.

Hugs, hon.

simplydevastated posted 9/6/2013 13:09 PM

Thank all for your support, advice and hugs. It's appreciated.

I am familiar with all the different levels of senior living/care. It's definitely something I'm going to research, that way I can make a proper and informed decision.

Thank you MF777 and WW for mentioning the POA. That is something I will approach with my mother soon. I know that she does have a will but I do need to talk to her about it. After watching what my cousin went through with my Aunt and not knowing her wishes, I want to have a discussion with my mother about hers. I just want to what she wants in the future.

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