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View Full Version : Moral Support Please


michelen
04-12-2005, 06:54 PM
Greetings all,

I haven't been here in a while because my mother is very ill. Very, very ill. She has suffered from COPD (specifically, emphysema) for a number of years, and then contracted pneumonia a few weeks ago. She was in hospital on April 1, and four days later demanded to go home.

So, we took her home. Her sister, who lives conveniently across the street, has been taking care of her. I was there for 4 days last week--I live an hour-and-a-half away and need to work. She is completely bedridden and needs 24-hour care. She doesn't have any money--she was living on Social Security and help from me--and I don't really have any money either.

Fortunately, in San Joaquin County where she lives, there is a non-profit hospice care organization, and today they rode in on their white horses. But I still need to arrange for care at night, or else convince her to go to a nursing home, which is going to be difficult. The hospice folks are helping me arrange Medi-Cal eligibility (her income was too high, believe it or not, before this crisis occurred). The hospice folks are angels, and when all this is over, if I am not bankrupt, I plan to do something about giving them some money.

So, it's all very hard. Right now, the plan is that I work during the week and then go to Mom's for the weekend. Which means I have no life for the forseeable future. If anyone has any advice or words of encouragement, I'd sure like to hear it.

Thanks all,
Michele

annc
04-12-2005, 07:37 PM
Oh, Michele, I really do feel for you. My elderly mother is in a nursing home, although in much better health than yours. But we had some health scares with her before she went to the nursing home, and I do know what a traumatic experience it all is. And time-consuming.

I can't offer advice on how to get assistance with the care of your mother, because I live in a different country. But my heart goes out to you in such a situatiion. Do you have any siblings who can help you out? Your own health will suffer if you have to do this for more than a few weeks.

Molly/CA
04-12-2005, 07:52 PM
Michele,

We've been through a crisis with my Mother in law just this last week and I feel for you. It's a horrible tangle and all the Medicaid stuff came up with my MIL all of a sudden even though she's 95 and no one should have been surprised. You're doing wonderfully well with it all. The system is horrible and there are all kinds of rules (and I expect They will sneak some more in) to keep kids from helping their parents. One thing, it's important for you to take care of yourself so that you can keep helping your mother. Sounds as if some of it's on her sister's shoulders --the same goes for her. Have you found someone to stay with her at night? Would it help if the sister gave the caretaker a meal? Is she cooking for your mom?

I live in SJ county and might know some people to ask about caretaking people, but I bet the hospice people know how to get reputable people with the needed skills better than any of us. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions, or send a private message.

Meanwhile, know that my thoughts are with you. I sure wasn't very nice after a while after I got out of the hospital this last time (a shower of clots in my legs) --even compared to how much I wasn't nice already! It's probably a sign of feeling a bit better but very hard on the poor suckers that are trying to take care of you! If you get to a place like this with your mom remember it's the illness talking...

Franca
04-12-2005, 10:22 PM
I am so sorry that you are going through this, Michele. It all sounds quite overwhelming! I'm afraid I can't think of any suggestions other than to echo the others in reminding you to take care of yourself. You seem to be doing everything humanly possible, and it must be exhausting. I wish I could be more helpful, but you certainly have my moral support. I hope your mom is as comfortable as she can be under the circumstances. Hang in there!

ktinkel
04-13-2005, 06:34 AM
Sorry to hear that — it does sound overwhelming. We went through the final illnesses of both of Jack’s parents a few years ago, so I empathize, for what that’s worth.

I hope you can arrange a nursing home for your mother. If not, perhaps she will qualify for live-in home health aides (that is what Jack’s folks had, but his dad had a great pension, which paid the costs). I think Medicaid might cover it. (It is cheaper than a nursing home, and your mother might find it less unbearable. The aides we had for Len and Judy were very good, all in all.)

Do take care of yourself.

michelen
04-19-2005, 07:34 PM
Thanks, everyone, for your support.
Things got much worse after I posted that last message.
My mother died at Hospice House on Friday, April 15. Thanks to them, her last few hours were peaceful. The twenty-four hours before that were a nightmare that I will never forget.
But, life goes on. Now I have to clean out the house (a rental) where my parents lived for 18 years. I sure wish my mother hadn't been quite such a pack rat. It's a monumental chore.
I'll be back on the forums when things settle down.
Thanks again.

Michele

Jonathan
04-19-2005, 08:21 PM
My heartfelt condolences, Michele. I'll be thinking of you in the coming days.

I cleared out my parents' home of 51 years last fall, so I can well relate to the task you face. I wish you strength, and hope you have friends that you can call in for assistance.

Let us know how you go, OK?

annc
04-19-2005, 10:05 PM
My sincere condolences, Michele. I am glad that her last hours were peaceful, and feel for you in your job of cleaning out her house. I hope the owners give you the necessary time. It's a heartbreaking task you have ahead of you there.

Franca
04-19-2005, 10:16 PM
I was afraid when we didn't hear more from you that things were not going too well. I'm so very sorry Michele. But thank goodness for the folks at the hospice. Try not to wear yourself out sorting through stuff. Take care, and we'll be happy to see you whenever you are able to come back.

ktinkel
04-20-2005, 05:33 AM
Thanks, everyone, for your support.
Things got much worse after I posted that last message.
My mother died at Hospice House on Friday, April 15. Thanks to them, her last few hours were peaceful. The twenty-four hours before that were a nightmare that I will never forget.
But, life goes on. Now I have to clean out the house (a rental) where my parents lived for 18 years. I sure wish my mother hadn't been quite such a pack rat. It's a monumental chore.
I'll be back on the forums when things settle down.
Thanks again.

MicheleVery sorry for your loss.

Not exactly a ray of light, but something like it: When we went through the amazing accumulation from my husband’s parents after their deaths, we found lots of things that reminded us of when they were younger and well. And those memories have at least partially replaced the hard ones from their later years. (But I won’t fool you: It was a ton of work! Took us more than a year and a half, in fact. Somewhat like you, we lived an hour away and had to work, so couldn’t blitz the job.)

michelen
04-20-2005, 03:22 PM
KT,

Thanks. The landlord has been very good to my folks over the years. I told him I needed until the end of May. I do need the pay the rent, but "whenever you have it," is OK with him. I do have some help, and hope to be ready for a monumental garage sale on May 13-14. With any luck, the proceeds will pay most of the rent. After that, I'll still have two weeks to get rid of what's left.

Yes, I need to work, so all of this has to be done on weekends. Fortunately, I have my two aunts, a couple of cousins, and a couple of my parents' friends to help out.

And life goes on: Mark and I have a photography exhibition that needs to be ready on May 1. It's not a big deal (well, it is to us!) just a little beer and pizza place in Berkeley that likes to have stuff on their walls. We hang our photos for a month, and they give us a little "Artists' Reception" for which they provide pizza and beer. If we sell anything, the money is ours, they don't take a cut or anything.

Are we ready? Of course not!! The Artists' Reception is scheduled for Sunday, May 15. We have friends coming to town that weekend. So I'll be there for the garage sale on Friday and Saturday, then lock the door Saturday night and drive home.

So I've been scanning and printing photos since I got home on Sunday. Saturday morning, Mark and I are driving out to start working on the house. Next weekend we can't be there because we have to install the photo exhibition on Sunday. And of course I have a seminar to go to on Sunday, which I really don't want to miss. Whew! Can it get any more complicated? I guess it's good to have something to do, but this is ridiculous.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

Michele

ktinkel
04-20-2005, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the words of encouragement.I wish I could offer more.

Best of luck.

terrie
04-21-2005, 09:11 AM
Michele...I'm so very sorry...

Terrie

Susie
04-22-2005, 06:54 PM
Michele - I'm so very sorry to hear about your mother. My heartfelt condolences to you. My sisters and I went through the process of cleaning out my father and mother's home several years ago, and the accumulation was something else. The packrat was my father, though, not my mother. I don't think he ever got rid of anything from the day they moved into that house 50 years ago!

Take care

Susie