Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lists made at 3:00 a.m. or How to Put Your Mother into an Assisted Living Facility

How to Put Your Mother into a Nursing Home


Friday night
  1. Lie awake until 3:00 a.m., intermittently crying and smoking cigarettes in the garage with the baby monitor on so you can hear your dad when he calls you.
  2. Feel like you are the most terrible person in the world for ripping a helpless old lady from her home, her possessions, and her dying husband.
  3. Give up sleeping and start making lists of everything you think she will need in her new home to feel at home.
Hair done Thursday a.m. to see Mandi? (No, because Mandi is going to Hawaii Thursday. Go, Mandi!)
phone line
cell phones for seniors?
Ensure
diet coke for Mom's fridge
dreamsicles-- stock for awhile
cereal
vanilla soy milk
snacks
plates
glasses
mugs
silverware
napkins
eye drops (systane)
makeup
brush
microwave?
little bistro type table and chairs for eating?
What bed for Mom-- new mattress?
Nightstand, bureau
The Bose?
CDs
DVD player
DVDs
Sound of Music?
birth certificate
wedding photos
dishwashing liquid
dishtowels
bathroom towels
extra sheets, comforter, her favorite pillows
afghans
nightlight
lamps
sleep apnea machine
bathrobe (wash blue)
Clothing: blouses, t's, sweatshirts, sweaters, socks, slippers, garments, jammies, shoes, coat, hat, scarf, gloves
paintings
little cozy side tables
warm objects-- fairy statues?
fake plants plus real?
ice packs for her back
living room/family room chairs
sofa?
window treatments-- she should choose
ask about paint (no)
Rugs
washcloths
shampoo
conditioner
deodorant
nice bathroom soaps from Bath and Body that smell really good
pen and paper
art supplies
bookshelf and books
pictures
addresses and phone numbers
envelopes (fill out some envelopes)
stamps
camera?
love seat? How to make it a cozy studio. Look online for suggestions, including canopy around bed?
NOT A FAN OF SUNLIGHT
cane, just in case
shower chair
jewelry-- will it be safe?

Make lists of other things you're going to have to do:
  1. cemetery plots
  2. casket
  3. obituary?
  4. how do we book somewhere for funeral reception?
  5. car titles
  6. start going through everything in the house
  7. give people Mom's new address and phone number
  8. death announcements? How on earth is this done?
  9. let drs know and Pat change of address. can she keep her doctors? (yes) Burke?
  10. Maud-- set up other weekly lunch dates
  11. Mom checking account?
Saturday

The Longest Day

Sunday

She goes with brother for the day, so you get a break and feel human for a millisecond

Monday

  1. Take her to see her family physician to have paper work legally declaring her to be incapacitated.
  2. Listen to abuse at the drs office while trying to talk to the nurses about what else the Dr needs to fill out forms for nursing home. Abuse includes: "You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."
"You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."

"You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."
 
"You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."

"You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."
 
"You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."
 
"You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."
 
"You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."

3. Your mother finally goes to bed, and by that time, you feel like you've been punched in the face.

4. Tell your brother that you are going to take her back to Missouri and put her in the cheapest, shittiest nursing home you can find.

5. Brother will tell you that you should probably go to bed.

6. Go to bed at 9pm

Tuesday

  1. Get up at 5am and fill out all of the remaining nursing home paperwork.
  2. Go back to sleep, and sleep right through your dad walking past you in the living room and getting himself a bowl of cereal.
  3. 8am, the Hospice nurse calls. She had an emergency in Salt Lake, so she is going to see her other SLC clients. She will be here early afternoon.
  4. 9am Your brother will attempt to leave the house to go to Costco to buy mom a new TV and fill her prescription for valium.
  5. Your mother will go to the bathroom a million times because she is constipated, all the while continuing: "You planned this didn't you? You knew this was going to happen. Dr. M___ doesn't know anything. I am only going to him because my old doctor retired. He really knew and understood me. Why do you hate me? You just can't wait to get rid of me. I hope someday your daughter does this to you! [note: I do not have a daughter] How would you feel if somebody did this to you? So, you're never going to come and see me again, right? I'll be all alone. I can't be ready to leave by Thursday. I need two more days. I need to say goodbye to people. Nobody will ever come and see me. I need another week. I need to stay until after my dentist appointment [note: still an eye appointment]. I don't like you very much. You and Matt just want to get rid of me. IT'S MY HOUSE! You can't just kick me out of my house? [see: Melchezidek Priesthood quote]. I need to call my cousin. I need to call my sister-in-law. There is no way I can get everything done by Thursday. I.AM.EXHAUSTED. I am not going on Thursday. I need a few more days. Can I have a few more days? I promise I won't talk to you. I'll go stay with my cousin. I am going to call my cousin and she will let me stay with her for a couple of days while I am packing. It's the size of the apartment your dad and I first lived in in Ohio. I can't live in that small of a place. I don't like the big windows. There are so many old people at that nursing home. Connie's husband died last month and she still lives at home. I am going to stay at home IN MY HOUSE."

    6. You suggest Costco another day.
  6. 7. They finally leave for the store.
  7. You go in to talk to your father.
  8. The door bell rings, and it's the CNA to help your dad shower and put on clean clothes and shave.
  9. Do some laundry and chat with CNA.
  10. Your father feels clean and takes a nap.
  11. Your brother and your mother come home, and your brother looks like he has been punched in the face.
  12. They have a 32" wall-mount, flat-screen, HD TV that she will never ever ever ever be able to turn on, let alone use the remote control.
  13. Suggest that your mother have a valium. "I can't take one. I have to pack as fast as I can because you want me out of here."
  14. Hide a valium in some baby food peaches. Add laxative.
  15. Complete and sign remaining hospice papers with your brother. It's snowing cats and dogs so you call and say you are not going to drive in that. Decide to fax papers.
  16. Your brother leaves to fax the papers and do a little grocery shopping.
  17. Confiscate her valium bottle.
  18. Your
  19. Listen to three-hour barrage about how dare you take her medicine! That is HER medicine!
  20. Give her another valium at the start of the barrage, and hope she will take a nap.
  21. Get her to lie down and rub her back. Continue to listen to barrage.
  22. Watch her try on every single pair of pants she has. Put the ones she doesn't want in a bag for Deseret Industries.
  23. Ask her to lie down again.
  24. Listen to barrage. She will get up and try to go to the bathroom. Every time you think she is finally asleep, she opens her mouth to say, "I need more time. I can't be out of here Thursday. I need to call my cousin. Why do you hate me so much? I can't believe I'm being kicked out of my own house."
  25. Get out of bed and leave the bedroom.
  26. Pull hair out.
  27. Dial aunt's number and listen to Mom berate you to her on the phone. On YOUR phone.
  28. Start videotaping her with your computer just to amuse yourself.
  29. There is a knock at the door and it's the Hospice social worker. She distracts Mom for a couple of hours and reinforces what we have told her.
  30. Put every single item of clothing she has that you can find into suitcases without letting her look at them again.
  31. Your father gets out of bed to watch ESPN. You suggest a cup of tea to your mother.
  32. Your mother finally falls asleep in the recliner for about ten minutes.
 


7 comments:

  1. Shots of tequila are on me the next time I see you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I haven't gone through this (yet) but it seems impossibly difficult! Stay strong, and keep writing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. *hugs*

    I can answer some of your funeral questions. Often, the funeral director will take care of everything, including burial plots and death announcements in the paper(s). A lot of it depends on how much money you want to spend, etc. If you are feeling like you need to be doing something, than yeah, you can go to whatever cemetery your parents have picked out and buy two plots. People tend to overspend when it comes to death rituals because they feel guilty so keep that in mind when you go looking for a plot, etc. By federal law, you can go into any funeral home and ask for a price list and they must give it to you, no hassle. I would suggest going to several funeral homes and getting their lists and then studying them. I taught a preparing for death class that focused only on body disposal and I got 4 lists from 4 different funeral homes. One funeral home had the most basic funeral at $15K another had a basic funeral at $8K. It sounds vulgar to say shop around, but shop around. For a memorial, there are usually restaurants/bars near cemeteries that specialize in the funeral crowd and are used to taking last minute large reservations.

    You are NOT a bad person for putting your mother in a facility. Her DISEASE is talking to you, not her. She is already gone. Call JR, formerly JS for advice and support - she was in a similar situation when her father died and her Alzheimer's mother had to be put into a home. If you don't have her number, LS should have it.

    I'm in Chicagoland but I am here if you need a friend. Call me whenever!

    Whatever happens, remember, you aren't a bad person and NONE of this is your fault.

    JJ

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey! Your dad got up and got himself cereal!

    All of this will pass. I'm proud of both of you. Remember: if you didn't have a pile of shit to deal with, all you'd be doing would be grieving. Why not work yourself to distraction instead? There will come a time when you actually miss the madness, and that's when you know you've hit bottom and are on your way back up.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I drew this for you.
    http://awfulfanart.com/post/2828105854/jon-stewart-the-monkey
    Michelle de Seattle

    ReplyDelete
  6. Save some peaches for me! Minus the laxatives though. You could market those. Love you. Love you. XOXOXOOX.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If you want to have the actual funeral/reception at church, just call their bishop or Relief Society President to help out. The funeral home will still do some of it, but anything at the church will be free. They are very used to coordinating. And often they will feed the family dinner after going to the cemetery. Depends on if you want to have the funeral at church, but it sure does make it easy. Besides that, once you decide on a funeral home, I would direct questions to them, they will be able to help and are used to answering all these questions.

    Wishing I lived close enough to take something off your hands. You are doing great. Just keep swimming. I agree there will come a time you will miss the madness. Hang in there. Sending love.

    p.s. You are totally making the right decision with your kids. They are safe and well cared for. You are so much more needed where you are. Maybe they'll appreciate you more and treat you like a queen when you get home. You could ask for anything. (Breakfast in bed, doing dishes, running to get you things around the house, cleaning their rooms... Ok, so maybe that last one is pure fantasy, but you could try.)

    ReplyDelete