When my mom was alive, she had a short stay in a local hospital. She returned from that hospital visit with a virus that caused her to begin to deteriorate. She had contracted a urinary tract infection while there and it dramatically affected her memory.
We began ’round the clock aides and continued that for almost a month. The changing of aides every twelve hours confused her even more. She forgot when they were coming and what their names were. And it was costing us over $12,000 per month. So we made a critical decision. We decided to move her to an Assisted Living Facility close to our home on Cape Cod that specialized in working with memory-impaired residents. We were very concerned that she would resist the move.
My wife picked her up and told her she would be staying at the facility until she got her strength back. A week before the move, we met with the Executive Director, discussed the transition and selected her room. The Director told us that she might have some difficulties in the first few weeks but that resistance would be shortlived.
Sure enough, when she arrived she began telling the staff that she wanted to go home. The first week was very painful. We wondered if we had made a terrible mistake. But with the persistence of the staff and our reassurances, she adapted to the new setting after a few weeks. Now she is very happy with her new friends and is only twenty minutes from our home (instead of 3 hours).
Making decisions for your parents can sometimes seem awkward and difficult, but many times it has to be done. It is very uncomfortable to experience a reversal of roles and become the parent of your parent. But in our case, my Mom would have continued to deteriorate in her previous setting. As my wife and I reflect back upon this decision, we are certain that it was the right one. We know she is in good hands and is the right home for herself and her family.
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