Mom's fine and feisty again, full of demands.
I arrived at 2 pm, took her out in the wheelchair to See's Candy and to a drug store to buy Calmoseptine for her stage one bedsore.
Then while she was at dinner I hung the large framed old family photos on her wall again and sorted the laundry baskets full of her toiletries, towels, clothes, etc.
After her dinner I continued working and chatting with her.
I explained to her caregiver, Jane from Nairobi, Kenya, that I had cut back on her private caregiver hours and that I hope the residence can provide all the care Mom needs. That means showers, mouth and denture care in the evening, evening meds (which she often resists), and putting her to bed.
After itemizing her care, I offered to do it tonight since I was already there.
At 6:30 pm I said to Mom, "Okay, let's go to the bathroom and put your nightgown on and take your teeth out. Then I'll let you watch tv or listen to music if you want to."
"That's big of you," Mom retorted sarcastically.
We both laughed at this state of affairs: me feeling generous about tossing Mom a few crumbs of her former life.
At 7:30 I said, "Okay, I'm going home now to eat dinner and go to bed."
"Come back tonight," Mom demanded.
"It is night!" I tried to explain. "I'm going home to bed."
"You come back!" she insisted. "If you don't, you'll be sorry."
"I'll see you tomorrow," I countered, finally leaving as she continued to use threats to try to make me return sooner.
A study of longevity and mental health released recently found that people 60 yrs. and younger live longer if they keep a positive outlook and are happy.
But for the elderly, those who complain and fight a lot live longer.
Last week at Country Villa, Mom had lost her ability to complain and demand her rights. She was listless. She never even asked for her wristwatch, which had been removed when she entered the hospital on April 19.
But back at Sunrise on April 30, she demanded, "Where's my watch? I need my watch!"
Within 24 hours she was back at her usual level of crotchetiness. After a day of looking for her watch, I ended up putting mine on her wrist just to quiet her.
She's doing fine!
Instead of having a private caregiver every day, 2-10 pm, I'm now having Connie Reysag come only two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday.
Racquel Estrada, who worked for Mom on weekends for 2 1/2 years, started two 12-hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday caring for someone else because I moved Mom to Country Villa and said I didn't need her.
These were cost cutting measures. I used to pay $14 per hour for 56 hours per week, $784, in addition to Mom's room at Ocean View Assisted Living, $150 per day, and her care $56 per day, about $7,000 per month.
I hope to give up private care altogether within a few months and just depend on Ocean View for all Mom's care.