Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hell is a Nursing Home

My 88-year-old mother has been in skilled nursing for a week as of tomorrow afternoon.

I've gotten over my "Bite the bullet" "It's not so bad" thinking.

I'm now seriously considering moving Mom back to Ocean View Assisted Living tomorrow.

This has been one hell of a week, second only to Dec. 31 - Jan 6, the week I learned that one of my daughters has a cocaine addiction.

I thought I would have an easier time with her in a SNF--not so. Much more time-consuming.

She's pretty lost. Her spirit is broken now. She's not fighting with anyone there.

Yesterday she said to me, "This is a pretty good place you picked out." She seemed resigned, trying to please me and accept her reality.

But today she said, "I don't like it here." Each time I arrive she grasps my hands, desperately trying to connect and find reassurance.

At her assisted living, she would often be angry when I arrived, sometimes wanting to hold onto me, but she wasn't listless like she is now. I'm observing something like "failure to thrive."

Food and other residents are not the problem.

Being warehoused is the problem. She's a piece of meat being moved around. They don't talk to her personally, don't interact the way the staff at Sunrise did. There are 59 residents and a lot of staff on various shifts. She's lost.

Of course, she's getting PT, OT, ST, and her doctor visited her in her room. Nurses are in a station right next to her room. They're happy to monitor her UTI status, anticoagulation status, lungs, etc.

I don't have evidence yet of Elisa's charges, but Mom's drop in status to just another item on a workload is evident, especially during her shower, which left her in tears on Thursday night.

I wish I hadn't moved her furniture last Tuesday. At that point I was very committed to making this move work.

But now I think I'm going to pay $500 plus tip again to move all her furniture back to Sunrise.

Her words, "Don't sell my room!" still echo in my mind.

The "woman without a country" will get a home again.

Note to self: Try to figure out how to change the tag line on the blog to read "my 88-year-old mother." I started this blog two years ago.

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