Sunday, December 27, 2009
I went a few times during the Thanks giving and Christmas Holidays and each time she was asleep in the middle of the day. She has cycled into her being up all night routine again. So, on Christmas night my sister Brother-in-law and me went to see her on the way home from our other sister's home. It was about 7:45 pm and she had just awakened! She was wandering around chatting with everyone and was perfectly content. She had no recognition of us, but at least this time she wasn't crying. She was very happy and very busy, which is what she likes...she looked good too. LOL Bev that was for you!!! (She used to always tell my sister that lives in Bakersfield that she looked good)
You know for a few seconds you can see in her eyes an almost moment of recognition, then in a snap....it's gone! And on the way home we talked about how good she looked and how happy we were that she was happy. But still sad that she didn't know us. But you know....I would rather her be happy and not have a clue who we are, than her to be frightened and miserable and trying to leave during the night like she was the last several months she was with us at home.
We have come to the conclusion that now our visits with her are for our comfort, rather than hers, because as soon as her attention is diverted to something else, she has already forgotten that we were there.
I know that I briefly mentioned that finding the home she is in was truly an act and blesing of God. Here is how it happened. We knew last year at Thanksgiving that we were on the edge. I was exhausted and sick, my sister was exhausted and my Brother-in-law was too. My sister and I were taking turns staying up at night to make sure mom was not up and trying to get out. she was not sleeping in her bed and was always wanting to go home??? We were afraid she would fall during the night or manage to get outside. Then we would go to work during the day. We were able to take ker to a day care in our town (PADS) but they were only open from 7:30 to 5:30. It was very difficult to ger her up and going in the morning so I could go to work also. There were many times that I would drop her off in her pajamas with her clothes, toothbrush, breakfast and medications in a bag and the center took care of it for me. The people there were such a blessing!
After Christmas last year (the most horrible one in my enitre life!) we knew we had to do something. THe problem was financially we could not afford $6000-8000 per month for her. We called every home we knew about but finding a secured facility locally was not an option. With the exceprion of the most horrible and disgusting place around and I refused to put my mother there!!! Well I looked on line and at the same time my sister was looking on line (neither of us new the other one was looking) and I came across a website called "A Place For Mom". I sent an email to them asking for help!
The next day I answered the phone and it was a lady asking for my sister. She was at work so the lady left a message. The following day I answered the phone and it was the same lady asking for me! She was from "A Place for Mom" and said that we both had contacted them! After talking to this wonderful woman on the phone, When I told her my mom's name she said, Does she live on .....street? ANd I said yes...then she said "I know you guys, I am Terri's sister." Terri is our next door neighbor and happened to have lived next to mom and dad for years! After talking to her, we discovered that a group setting would not work for mom but she was able to tell us about a place called Golden Living Center. She gave me the phone muber and told me to talk about with my family.
In the meantime, I had found out from friends of friends, of a place in a small town about an hour north of here that had the correct facilitiy for mom. They only had one bed for a female and had to come interview her to see if she was a fit for them. The only problem was that they required $5500. per month until the state was able to finance.
I had already applied for assistance for my mom. Unfortunately it could to take up to 6 months. Well the local office lost her application....then when I took a duplicate, they shipped to another office, who could not find it, when finally (it's now Mid January) There was no way we would even be able to afford a single month for mom's care on our own. So we prayed, and PRAYED and PRAYED! We prayed for guidance and direction and assurance that this is what God wanted us to do. We felt like failures because we could not do it anymore.
The counselor from the place up north came out to visit mom and gave her a test and after speaking with her said she would fit in their facility. Only two problems, they would require a months pay in advance and their were no beds at that time.
Well, the next day I got a phone call from Jackie, at Golden Living Center in Shafter. She told me that she had been given my name and number (from "A place for Mom") regarding my mom. She had a bed opened and wanted to come interview mom. She came down the next day and spoke to mom at the day care center. She talked to the ladies there and to mom and to me. She said they would love to take her. They would require she be examined by their staff Doctor and then place their within 24 hours of the Dr. visit. The cost? They would take her with no fees as a "Medical pending" placement. This was on a Thursday. She was willing to take mom on Friday. But I asked if we could have the weekend to discuss it with family and if we could visdit the facility first.
She was able to arrange that for us and on Saturday we all went to Shafter Which is also about an hour from us only south. And it wa in between where we live and my sister in Bakersfield lives....Perfect. As we drove up the place is un assuming on the outside, very conservative and and older buliding. But it was very clean and well kept. In the unit in which my mom would live was set up like a home (somewhat) They had a dining room where the clients all set at the table and ate like a fmaily, they had a living room and a patio which were all safe and accessible to them. But what was most impressive to us was the love and affection that the staff showed to the clients there. They hugged and embraced them, held hands with them and treated them very well. The clients were allowed to be up when they wanted and eat when they wanted (snacks) and interact. We knew in our spirit that this was the place God had picked for our mom! He orchestrated it and set it into motion witout any of our doing and made it possible financially for us as well. The following Monday, my brother-in-law and I took her there.
We were worried about the transition and how she would act when it was time to leave....There was not a single issue! She found a gentleman there that took a liking to her immediately and she to him (within 5 mnutes of being there literally) and she had completely forgotten about us. The nurse gave us the sign to leave and we were gone. We were not allowed to go visit for a few weeks in order for her to get used to things, but she adapted very well. And our first visit she was happy to see us and told everyone that we were her "people" ??? She was happy! But mostly....SHE WAS SAFE!
Ten months later, we are on the mend and trying to get back to normal. I can;t say it has been a breeze, but we are well and we are no longer in a state of isolation and imprisonment. Which sounds bad to say, but is a very true statement. Anyway, I hope this story helps some of you that are struggling with a similar situation. Ours was truly God orchestrated and I praise Him for getting us through it!
Until next time...God Bless you all.....Becs