Every once in a while I catch you up, dear reader, on the “goings on” of my 98 year old Indiana mother. For more of her personality see this post—(MOM)
Each year I spend a month or more back in her Indiana home marveling at her spunk, her attitude, her humor and her courage. I was sorry I had to cut my visit short last month due to a death in my California family. Yet, I spent enough time with her to know that her day to day activities were getting far too difficult. Can you visualize taking food out of the fridge, chopping and preparing, cooking, making coffee, and then carrying your food and cup to the table…all with a walker?
We family members started talking in earnest about getting mom to agree to move to an assisted living facility. When I brought up the subject with her, she said, “If I have to go to a damn nursing home, I’ll take a powder first.” (You Jimmy Cagney/Edward G. Robinson fans know what that means)
Mom has fallen a few times, never breaking her small brittle bones, but cracking a couple of ribs, banging her head and getting bruised. The family knew it was time to persuade mom to let others take care of her.
I had no sooner returned to California when mom took another tumble…this time breaking the fifth metatarsal in her left foot. Now it was time for rehab and getting her to agree to permanent nursing care. Doctors told her no weight could be put on that foot for many weeks.
A brand new re-hab facility had opened a few months ago and mom was taken there. My brother and daughter said there was no need for me to come home at this time and they would keep me posted on mom’s rehabilitation. I talk to her every day on her phone.
We all agreed that she could never go home alone again. Her wish to die in her own bed in her own house was not going to come true.
So, she has now spent three weeks in the re-hab facility and Medicare says it’s time to move on to a nursing facility. She was finally able to put weight on her left foot and take some steps with her walker. Yesterday, Thursday, was moving day.
Like anyone who has ever met my mom, the entire staff had become big “Dorothy” fans. They hung out in her room on breaks laughing at her jokes and orneriness.
As they wheeled her out of the facility the entire staff lined up at the exit and gave mom a standing ovation. Many had tears in their eyes. Many promised to visit her at her new nursing facility. That’s my mom!