wow: exhausting, worried week

My Grandma has had a couple of TIA mini-strokes. Seems to be having a lot of trouble with recent memories and her perception of time. She tried to take her medicine (diabetes stuff and Aricept for dementia/possible earloy Alzheimer’s) twice- eep. She can’t remember being hospitalized. So she needs round-the-clock company to make sure she stays safe. She’s much better now that she’s home, though, as has always been the case through her falls and such. This stay in hospital was only overnight.  She really isn’t that much different than before, just a difference in degree.

Given that her family (besides an older sister and out-of-state-ers) includes a daughter (the aunt I write about) and two grandchildren who all are in desperate need of keeping our jobs and/or have crazy toddler life, a nursing home or assisted living apartment is pretty much our only option. While Bu is home during most days, our house is split level and Grandma couldn’t navigate our stairs.

We’ve talked with her and she’s OK with it, but she said that before when she kept falling and breaking bones and then she forgot she’d said she wanted to move and freaked out when her son came in to check out housing & care homes.

I hate this. I hate the idea of taking her out of her home so much. I know she’ll get worse out of her familiar environment; she always does. I don’t know if she’d settle in or what. I just know I feel a heartbreaking amount of guilt that I can’t move her in here or go stay there. I’d love to spend her last years in her home helping and listening and just bathing in her life. Yesterday she was telling me about her amazing love story with my grandfather (who died young) and about life on the farm where she grew up.  

I spent Monday with her at the hospital and Tuesday at her house. Molly went with, and it was an adventure. Grandma flooded her kitchen with her washing machine and when I got that sponged and mopped up, I found that the offending laundry had included a maxi pad (or bladder thing or whatever) that shredded white lint all over it all. She usually uses washcloths, like her hippy granddaughter, only not to save the planet. Why she used the sposie kind and then put it in the wash is just a lovely little gift of Chaos. This was balanced out by the heavenly fact that the baby slept through the whole floody mess.

Dunno when A will come in, or when we’ll figure this all out, but I hope it goes OK and we find a situation where she’s happy and safe.


3 responses to “wow: exhausting, worried week

  1. that sounds really tricky. i know it’s hard to relocate old people. my grandma wouldn’t hear of leaving her house, much less going to a hospital or old peoples home. she only gave in when she was too weak from cancer to get her place organized and spent the last couple of months in my parents house (and still mine at that time).

    is it possible that someone comes in to help her with a few essential things, like her medication, shopping and laundry? or will she forget that someone is coming in and try to do it herself anyway? well, that’s pretty much like assisted living. i just thought it might be possible to leave her in her home as long as possible.
    in germany there’s something like mobile nurses who come to your house and help, the health insurance even covers that in some cases where it’s actually cheaper than nursing homes. don’t know how that works in the states.

    a very sad story. i hope your family figure out a way you can all live with. “helping and listening and just bathing in her life” … that’s what i was able to do with my grandma. i learned more about her in those few months than i had in 18 years before. it was wonderful.

  2. That’s sad. My Dad has already said he’d croak before he’d go in a home. So I’ll likely shuffle him between me and my brother for the rest of his life. 😦

    I hope you find something livable.

  3. I hope it’ll work out in a way that keeps her happy and we can afford. It breaks my heart to think of her in a little room in a strange place.

    We’re going to ask her doctor if she’ll be OK alone for a while if we check in, give her meds, make sure she eats on time, gets showered OK, stuff like that. I’ll do her laundry:)

    I just know her mood and focus will plummet if we take her out of her house.

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