Thursday, May 18, 2006

Life With The Grandmas

The move of my mother to my home was gradual. First she broke her arm and I went and stayed with her until she could be on her own again. Then she broke her hip . She broke her hip the week after her 80th birthday. The next year she broke the other hip. My sister and I were with her for a week or two and I stayed on until she was able again to be on her own. What was not noticeable when we just visited occasionaly was that do to small strokes she was losing her short term memory.

Two things pushed the move into staying with my sister and myself. There was a relative who stated that he was coming to live in the house, who she did not want there. He did on paper have joint ownership of the house,but my mother had been living there since her mother died. The second thing that happened we felt that she was unsafe because she had been robbed during the day with as much protection that we could provide. Meals on wheels came around noon. Housecleaning came in the afternoon, and a friend came at supper and visited until time to go to sleep. She had a help line. Still someone had come in and had taken money from her wallet and bank. The bank was a large crayon shaped cylinder she kept her change in. She had no memory of being robbed. The friend found the wallet and bank on the floor. Because my sister lives a long way. My mother would stay with each of us for three months. My sister would have her come during winter because they have warmer weather.

My mother -in law also was losing her memory due to having small strokes. She also was having fractures in her back. When she was home on her own she grew fearful. She lived on a farm and the neighbors were not close. John's sister had her move in with her with home health making visits. While I was staying with my mother after the second hip broke, John's sister asked for help,so my mother-in-law would stay with us a month and John's sister a month. Until my mother came to stay with us John's mother would travel with me to my mothers a two hour trip one way once a week. We would go out to eat and visit.

Having the two grandmothers at my home together was best for them because they had each other for company. No one complained about what TV show they should watch. They didn't mind if a story was repeated over and over but the fear of being alone was not there.

Since they had only the now we tried to make the now as pleasant as possible. While they both could walk fairly well we took two trips to Las Vegas. We also included them in the activities we participated in. My mother-in-law enjoyed being the hostess at our open houses at Christmas. She also would go over to the church with Dr. John and helped put together mailings. In the picture above you see my oldest grandson learning to walk using my mother-in law's walker.

My mother-in-law past away at Dr. John's sisters house.

My mother as she got older got more demanding. My sister and my mother looked at assisted living places in a town near us. They found one that was very nice. She would have her own apartment with a fairly large bed room. The apartment had a kitchenet. She would get housekeeping and laundry. She moved in after Easter with my encouragement because we had trouble on Easter.

Easter morning our church has three services. The bell choir which I was a part of played at the early service. I left leaving instructions for my daughter and daughter -in-law to help my mother get ready for church and we all would attend the later service. Now I was not there but I was told that my mother was very irate because I did not get her up to go church . She refused to get dressed. She called out for juice repeatedly as the family tried to get dressed and feed my oldest granddaughter who was a baby at the time. This is when I lost it and decided that she should go to the assisted living place. I have a bit of guilt about this maybe a little more time she could have stayed with me.

She liked the assisted living place and felt like she was on vacation. I visited her regularly and we participated in the activities. During the summer they had a picnic and the families of those staying there would bring a dish to pass. They dressed up at holloween in costumes. They had an Easter egg hunt at Easter. My mother did not stay in her room but would go down and sit in the living room with the fireplace, keeping track of all those coming and going. When she first went there they had a large piano which she would play. Her sight became bad and she had difficulty reading the music, so the playing ended . A major stroke brought her to the hospital and then to a near by nursing home as she continued to have larger strokes.


Blogger Catch said...

What an interesting story Betty! They say if a person is real nice when they are young they will be mean when they are old, and if they are mean when they are young they will be nice when they get old. It sounds like an old wives tale but more times than not, thats the way it goes. But they cant help it,because by then they have had mini strokes or dementia. very sad state of affairs.

4:05 PM  
Blogger kristi said...

That is a good story, at least your children had a chance to be with both grandmothers even know their health was deteriorating. And it is wonderful that both grandmothers had each other for a little bit of support

6:49 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Its wonderful that your family was so willing and helpful to take care of your moms. And I love that they lived together for awhile with you. That is really neat. It is hard to watch our parents get old. I know its easier said than done, by dont feel guilty about your mom going to the living center. It sounds like she enjoyed it and it was the best decision for you all I am sure. Thanks for sharing.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Nice story. I think that for those who can afford it, assisted living is a very nice thing.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

I remember when the picture was taken of the gandson using the walker to walk. I do not remember the Easter service situation probably because I was a new mom and not getting any sleep. I do remember your mom liked Rush, our dog, who was a hard dog to like. I also remember thinking you had your hands full with all the things you had going on and people you had to take care of. I wish I could have helped more. You are a saint, Betty.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

Oh how wonderful of you to share your stories again...i love them...You and your sister and Dr. John did a wonderful thing by loving and caring of those who loved and cared for you too...
I hope that we all have that.

1:52 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home