I have been thinking about this post for a while and should post it on my parentingmymom blog but I am consolidating my blogs so I’ll just post it here. It’s a rant anyway.
If you read that blog you know my mother is in group home for the mentally challenged. I won’t go into the details but you can read about here.
Mom has been going down hill for the last several months. She has what my father referred to as the “Dwindles”. She is fading away. She has lost a lot of weight because she won’t or can’t eat. She looks like she is 100 and she is only 68. She is hunched over and says she can’t lift her head up. She can’t sit up to watch tv and having a conversation is nearly impossible because she can’t, or won’t speak above a whisper. I say can’t or won’t because there is no physical reasons for these symptoms. The doctors have run test after test and can find no reason for her loss of voice. They think these things are psychological rather than physical. Knowing my mother I agree with them.
The place she is in is an old farm house on a beautiful lake. There are 20 residents and the ratio of staff to patient is 4 to 1. The people who care for her take very good care of her and really like her. She seems to like them though she does not like the other residents. When she was living in the assisted living home she complained of the other residents as well. When I was taking care of her she fired me numerous times and kicked me out just as many. Mom doesn’t play well with others.
One of my father’s friends visited her recently. He has been one of the few people who has consistently visited her after everyone else faded out of her life. I am grateful to him for taking the time to see her. He spent the last three months in Mexico so hadn’t seen her in this new environment.
He visited her about a month ago. After his visit he called me and told me what a horrible place she was staying in. He talked about fire codes and other reasons the place was not acceptable. Granted the place is in an old farm house and is not as pretty as the last place she stayed but the care is much better than the other place. Before he called me he called a friend of his who is on the board of another group home. He inquired if they had room for my mother and they said they did. He did pass along the info to me and I did look into. Before I made any calls I tried to explain why she was where she was. No place else would take her based on her bad behavior and the medications she was on. I still made the call to the place he recommended but knew it was not likely to work out.
It didn’t. They would also not take her based on her past behavior and meds.
I know this guy was trying to help but I have felt like shit ever since. I know she isn’t doing well and want to do something about it but there is nothing I can do. She doesn’t have any will to live left. I’m torn between being pissed off at this guy and understanding of his position. It is shocking to see my mother and the place is not as nice as the other place. But this guy hasn’t been through all the hoops I have trying to get her placed anywhere besides the local psych ward. He doesn’t know the hell my brother and I have been through and I don’t think I need to educate him.
I’m defensive nonetheless. And angry. I am now considering taking over the care of my mother in my home. I will probably not do it because I know I am not equipped to and I need to work and wouldn’t be able to if she were here but I think about it everyday. I have called her doctor to ask if there was something I could have done differently so that this would not be the outcome. He has assured me that there wasn’t but it does little to convince me.
This man was trying to help but he was critical of my decisions and choices. I didn’t need this criticism. I can’t do anything to change what has happened and if he had asked me questions before he accused me of not caring for her properly he might have understood that. This is a perfect example of walking a mile in someone else’s shoes before judging them.