August 24, 2014

My "New Normal"

Over the last few months/years I've shared about being my mom's full time caregiver. Almost 5 years ago we had to move her into an assisted living residence from her home of 40 got to the point that it was no longer safe for her to live by herself. She was falling quite a bit and after spending too many nights in the ER, she agreed it was best to move where she could live safely yet retain some independence.

We were lucky to find an assisted living home for her very close to our home. She settled in and eventually called it "home". It wasn't a bad way to live...her own room and bathroom with her own furniture, round the clock care and meals served in a dining room with tablecloths, china and silverware. She had 16 people in her cottage and some of them became like family to us. About two years ago she broke her arm in two places. She had to wear a cast for 10 weeks but finally the doctor operated and put in pins and screws to hold her 92 year old bones together. Then in March of 2013 she fell and fractured her hip. Another surgery followed that and she was wheelchair bound. All through these ordeals she bounced back better than people 20 years younger!

Then back in the spring of this year, she took several falls very close together. In mid-June she was admitted to a hospital for observation as her care level at the assisted living residence had increased dramatically and she was "acting out" and we were concerned she might be suffering from early stages of dementia or possibly was just depressed. At the hospital we found out she had low potassium levels and that was treated. She then entered into a 20 day stay at a rehab facility to see if physical therapy would help her. At the end of that time, the assisted living facility advised that she would not be able to return to her cottage as she had already maxed out at the care level they could give her....and the cost would have increased to the point that it was not feasible for her to stay there even on a temporary basis. So our only option was a nursing home.....something we had feared for a while. You hear all these horror stories about nursing homes.

My first choice was the nursing home affiliated with the rehab facility where she was but that door was slammed shut.....also I had a very harrowing experience with one of their office staff during her stay there and at the very end. I won't go into that because I'm trying to be a bigger person and move forward. What I will say is that once again, when one door closes the Lord always opens the one you should walk through. That's where we are now....she has been in a nursing home two weeks now. It was my second choice but now I am so happy that's where she's ended up. They did have to admit her as a rehab patient but will be living there permanently after that. Our entire family is extremely impressed at the level of care at this facility. It's so clean, bright and a happy place for her. We've met so many residents there. There have numerous activities and a wonderful activity director. In fact, I go by a lot of times to go to those activities with her!

The downside is now I've got to start the application process to get her approved for Medicaid. I've started gathering documents (i.e. 5 years worth of bank statements to start!!!!) and no telling what else. I met briefly with a the financial person there and next week I hope to get further along in the process.

So now you know why there have been so few decorating projects/posts around her for the last couple of years. I'm doing good to get a little bit of seasonal decorations out....I can't believe I'm telling ya'll this but part of my Easter centerpiece is still on the dining room table! I removed the bunnies and it doesn't really look Easter-like but still.....!

I did get started on decorating my porch for the upcoming football season...some pillows and my Auburn flag....I'll post pictures of that soon!   Here's a little project I did to get started on my fall football porch.....

I made the monogram for my boxwood wreath on the front week I'll share the secret of the perfect "dots"!

I'm soooo ready for football and fall weather.   It's unbelievably hot here now....the temps have been close to 100 this past week and it will be a while before it cools off.

In anticipation of the fall, I lucked up and found this gorgeous wool throw the other day in grays, creams and yellows.   

I was wanting something with oranges but when I saw this one I immediately fell in love with it....the colors will work perfectly with some galvanized pails/pots and mums.   It's so soft too!

Have ya'll see these pillow covers at Hobby Lobby?   They have a big selection and are very reasonable.   I've been picking them up all summer in different time they were 50% off and I might have gone a little nuts buying more than I wanted needed.

Now a little good news to go along with all the "gloom and doom" I seem to always be posting about daughter is now 20 weeks along with her pregnancy and we found out it's a little boy! You can read about that here  and here   I've been picking up baby things whenever I'm out and about and several of her friends are planning a baby shower sometime in October. So we have a new little baby to welcome into our family in the New Year!

Thank you all for continuing to visit me here even when I don't have pretty pictures or projects....I know I've said a dozen times that if my life ever settles down, maybe I can get back to decorating and sharing all of that with you.

Have a great week!


Cheri said...

Hopefully now life will get better and a slower pace until the new little guy comes.

Maggie said...

Blessings to you. I'm at a similar point in my life's journey, and it's a challenge.

Simply LKJ said...

So glad to hear you found the right place for her in the end, and that she has settled in well. Praying for more peace and time for you in the coming months. So exciting anticipating a new arrival.

Kelly said...

I'm glad that your mom is in a good place now. I'm sure that will make it easier for everyone from here on out! I love the throw and the pillows you found. I've seen those at Hobby Lobby too. They have so many patterns and colors to choose from! I think your grandson's appearance in January will be an exciting time for your family. Your mom will love him most of all!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

Well, it sounds like you've found the right place for your Mom, Judy. I'm glad there is some good news (your soon to be grandson) mixed in with the "trying" times. Love that throw you found. My daughter just painted her guest room/home office grey and that throw would go great in there. Can I ask where you found it?

Teresa P said...

Glad to hear your Mom is transitioning well in her new surroundings. Your story is similar to how things happened with my husbands late grandmother. She was 91 when she went into assisted living after having several bad falls. The last fall required an overnight hospitalization and her doctor told us then she no longer should be living alone. She passed away a month before her 96th birthday and while we were fortunate she spent the majority of her time at the assisted living,the last two years there she was having lots of falls, etc and we became concerned. We meet with them on several occasions and they assured us that she was getting the care she required. Living in a different town, it wasn't easy just to pop in daily but we would visit often. Two months before her death, she required hospitalization and from there had to transfer to a nursing facility but I always felt she should have probably been there sooner. I think it was wise to have your Mom moved at this stage as her care requirements have increased. Hopefully it will give you greater peace of mind. Prayers to all of you.

Katie Clooney said...

Oh Judy, sounds like your plate is full. Everything happens for a reason, and obviously the dear Lord wanted your Mom in the second choice. Good luck with all the paper work. What a nightmare. Congrats on your grandson. Can't wait to see pics when he make his grand appearance into the world!

Dixie Delights said...

I'm so glad that you now have your mom somewhere great. I can imagine how stressful this has all been though. I love your monogram and can't wait to hear about the perfect dots :-) xo

Nancy said...

we've been going through a similar thing with both of our parents, my father and mother-in-law both fell last summer. my dad had his leg amputated during the recovery process last year and my MIL has been unable to live in her home of fifty years and now rotates between all her sons' homes. i'm so glad you have your mom in a good place now. I know its hard and can relate to your "new normal"...I read somewhere something about how you grow up and begin to understand your parents as you have kids, then as they age and you become their caretaker its like they become your child in a way. you see the way they loved you as they took care of you when you were little. the roles reverse for a while. then when they pass they become your parent again. I hope that made sense...just wanted to say I can relate. :) we understand and will wait patiently for your fantastic projects while you care for her and yourself :) {{hugs}}

Fairhope Supply Co. said...

So sorry to hear about your Mom. What a difficult time for you, but how blessed your Mother is to have such a loving daughter and family close to her.

Decorating isn't really important in the big scheme of things, is it? Let God do the decorating for a while. Flowers, sunsets, trees . . . just the pretty touch we need while we go about being His hands.

Hang in there, you're doing great.

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