Dawne is learning to care for her ageing mom, first at home and now at hospital. She previously wrote on January 7 and 27.
My 87-year old mother now resides at a small hospital on the main island. For most of last year I cared for her at home on a small island. As her mobility decreased, we received a few hours of home-care each day. When she became ill with the flu I had to admit her to hospital since her weakness made it too difficult for me to look after her around the clock. It was a difficult decision for me to make.
The hospital is small and most patients seem to be waiting for an opening in an extended care facility. Due to its size, it has a relaxed feeling about it, and the nursing staff are very caring. Recently mom and I talked about her options: either stay here until a bed opens up in a seniors’ home or return home with me (as long as we can get more home-care assistance). Her reply surprised me: “I might as well stay where I am, I like it here.” I’d expected her to say that she preferred to return home with me, but can see why she said what she did. She likes the daily visit from a doctor, the regular personal care, and the many facilities so well suited to her needs.
My relationship with Mom is changing. Now that the weight of daily care-giving has been lifted, I’m able to just be with her, something I found so difficult when I had to meet her other needs as well. Recently, my adult son and I visited her; John’s been going through a rough spell and slept for most our time there. The next time I came to see her, Mom said “I feel that Grandpa is looking after John, [Grandpa died seven years ago]. I felt your heavy heart as well. So I prayed for you all through the night.” This touched me deeply and I told her how beautiful her words were to me … something I have rarely done in the past. I’m learning to listen to what my heart tells me to do and trust that it will be the right decision.