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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The decision that no one wanted to make.

It all started this Sunday.  My husband went up to see his mom in the morning.  He could not get in so he came back and got her keys (we had a spare set) to unlock her door.  She had fallen out of bed the night before and did not have the strength to get back up so she pulled her pillow off and slept all night on the floor.

I sent her dinner up as i often did.  She was fine but Hubby decided to go up after her meal and he was helping her with something.  She asked him to go into the other room to get something and while he was there, he heard her fall again.

Her broke her ankle severely.  This is not the first time she has broken her ankle.

As I stood there watching the ambulance leave, I wondered how much longer it would be before her children would have to decide to have her placed in an assisted living home.  She could not live by herself much longer and it was so sad to see such a vibrant strong woman fail the way she seemed to be failing lately.  But I was just her daughter in law and not one of her children.  I could not make the decision.  They would have to.

We could not find the youngest girl in the family because unbeknownst to us, she was off dealing with the death of someone in her family.  Yes, it was one of those days.

Now, anyone who thinks the decision to put a loved one in a home and thinks it is an easy decision to make, has never been faced with that decision.  It is not easy. It is one that will make you weep.  Even grown men like my husband, whom the family depends on for these matters, weeps.
I have heard people say, 'oh, they just put their loved ones in a home so they don't have to take care of them and won't get their checks.'  Not true. Not true at all for most people.

But, they have to do what is best for her and they have decided to have her placed in a home near us.  I am considering getting a volunteer job there and I can visit her and help out with other patients at the same time.  We shall see how that goes.

I know I will miss my friends long chats over coffee and such but she will be where she needs to be.  She will be safe.

The first picture above was taken on their 25th wedding anniversary and the last one was taken when Alix was born.


  1. I was very lucky that my mother made her own choice. It may have been a couple in her building who talked her into it - it certainly wasn't us, her children. If anything, my sister, I think wanted to have the two of them find a place together so that my mother would pay the bills but my mother wanted none of that. She isn't thrilled where she is - she says it's like living in a dorm. A couple weeks ago, a man with dementia forced his way into her room and frightened her. It's rather sad that she has gone from having a lovely home full of things she loved and now has to have only a few things in a single small room. But she does like the meals and not having to clean.

  2. I'm so sorry. I've been there with my own mother. Daddy and I took care of mother as long as we could in their home, but mother had Alzheimer's. She'd been sick with this disease about 12 years when we placed her in a nursing home. Dad or I visited her everyday. I washed her clothing at home. I gave her manicure/pedicures, cleaned her ears, wiped her nose, plucked those unwanted hairs on her chin, combed her hair, rubbed lotion on her, sang to her, read to her, loved on her. The journey in care-giving does not end at the door to the Nursing Home. My mother went to her eternal home March 2, 2008.

    1. Sounds like you were such a good son. Bless you.

  3. I'm so sorry to hear this Garnet, but it's about what's best for her. I had to make this decision a long time ago for my Dad and it was terrible. Taking care of him was no longer easy either and it was taking it's toll on Rich. It was my father but I think Rich felt worse than I did. I'm sure it was tough on your husband but knowing that she will be looked after 24/7 is a weight off his mind as well I'm sure.

  4. Yes it is a tough decision. When my mom got bad off my sisters and I decided to have her stay in her home and we took turns looking after her. She was given about 3 weeks but we ended up having a great year with her. We were fortunate to have the time to share the care. I hope all goes well with her recovery and situation afterwards,

  5. Might I suggest that she give one person power of attorney, so that not every decision has to go thru a family committee? It might make decisions easier.

  6. My heart aches for all of you, it is a very hard decision a family has to make to place their family member in a home, she loses her freedom but it is a necessary evil. You are doing the right thing and I think it is wonderful that you will volunteer there to spend more time with her and others in a similar situation. Sending big hugs and tons of prayers....:-(

  7. Oh, I'm so sorry Garnet! Hard decisions all around...

  8. It is a very hard decision to make Garnet. My husband and I had to do that years ago. But his aunt lived with us and I just couldn't take care of her myself anymore. Katie was four at the time and my husband was always gone. It was a very difficult situation. God's blessing's to you and your family. Love Di ♥