I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

03 August 2011

Creating Happier Days Through Time and Love

Mom walking unassisted in Whole Foods
My mom's doing better since I've been visiting her twice a day; getting her up and out of the wheelchair to walk seems to help a lot.  She is happy most days.

Mom's ankles had been swollen something horrible from sitting too long in a chair and not being allowed to exercise.  Moving.  Walking.  In my opinion, it's the best remedy for edema.  I've been vigilant to walk with her in order to help give her the best end of life possible.  I am exhausted.

I worry about my mom more while she's in the nursing home than when she was home with me.  I am losing  sleep again, becoming an insomniac as I lay awake at night wondering if mom is being treated with dignity and not being abused.  I worry about all of my little friends in the home.

I am nearly ready to bring my mom back home with me until the bed opens in a home where her Primary Care Physician would be her doctor.  I am not happy.  I should NOT feel that I need to be at the nursing home every day, twice a day.  My confidence has been shot because of incidents that I've witnessed.

What have I done?!  How could I have put my mom in danger?

People are dumped in nursing homes; no one really seems to care.   Left to be looked after by people who appear robotic with little time to do anything extra like walk with my mom.

Residents with few or no visitors, seem depressed as they cry out the names of those that had abandoned them when they were needed the most.  The screaming is ignored as nurses and aides have become desensitized to the crying residents.

It break my heart to witness the sadness.  Sadness that could be avoided if their families took even an hour out of their lives once a week to stop in and visit with a cup of coffee or a big hug.  How busy can people be that they can't give a little time every week to someone who loves them and misses seeing their face?  I need to understand so that I can answer questions when asked.  Today, I don't know what to say.

Monday, my mom was doing terrific; she slept through the previous night.  Sleep always puts her in a good place.

She walked in to Dr. Barton's office for acupuncture; a session she has every week to help her have better days.  Mom walked a lot yesterday.  She even pushed the cart at Whole Foods while we shopped for a few items.  It was like the sweet days before she was admitted to the nursing home over 2 months ago.

Eyes welling with tears of joy, I pulled out my camera and captured the memory.  Mom's not dead.  She's doing better than she had been.  Visits, hugs, smiles, laughter and time have made a difference to create happier days.  It's not hard to put a smile on a residents face, all you need to do is give the gift of time.

Mom shopping, pushing the cart and walking... Acupuncture works!


  1. You know, I have often wondered if my life would be easier if mom was in a nursing home or if I would be plagued with worry about what went on when I wasn't there.
    You have stated many of my questions in this post. It is lovely to see her in the grocery store :)

  2. My mom has some great nurses and aides. Unfortunately, they can't be there 24 hours a day; they need respite time too.

    My mom is fairly happy. She likes her new friends and there's always someone there. She needs lots of people around her at all times. I couldn't provide that for her and it's why she's still in the nursing home.

    I'm not satisfied because there's no consistency with care givers. I don't know why they can't keep the same nurses and aides in place? Mixing things up is so darn confusing. I never know for sure who is caring for my mother which is part of my stress.

    When I know it's one of the folks who has gotten to know my mom, I relax.

    It is more peaceful in our home with my mom in the nursing home.

    However, I still worry a lot about her and if she needs to use the toilet. :)

  3. Like everything else in life Nursing Homes vary from one end of the horror spectrum to the other where it's as near to Utopia as it's possible to be. Most lie somewhere in between. Just a couple of observations for your consideration.

    1) Staffing is always problematic. People come and go. Some days they are short staffed (everybody's out with the flu or the circus is in town, who knows?)
    Sometimes they have to pull nurse A from one side because Nurse B is helping train new staff in the auditorium....ordinary things that play fruit basket upset with who works where. Not being indentured servants, people cannot be forced to work absolutely all the time. It's as hard for them to handle the changes as it is for the patients.

    2) Many of the residents are confused or senile (as you know), some of the crying for loved ones is due to that. Just like your mom looks for your dad and your brother. Reality sort of comes and goes. Sometimes there is no family, sometimes the resident's memory is not good, they can forget that their family was there that day.

    3) End of life care is probably the most difficult of all nursing jobs. All the patients eventually die, no matter how good the care is. It's hard for the staff, so they have to keep somewhat removed otherwise they would be crying all the time.

    4) Some people do not have it in them to be good caregivers. Death, illness, senility, are terrifying for some people to see. They have nothing to give to their parent or whomever. All they see is one day it will be them and they cannot cope with it. "Mom will be ok, she's got nurses around who know what to do, she doesn't need me, I'm no good for her. I'll go and see her next week....maybe."

    You know all of this. But knowing doesn't make it one damn bit easier for anyone. Everyone can only do what they can do. You are one of the best caregivers its possible to be....but you must remember that we don't live in a perfect world and no matter how hard we try we cannot make it into one.

    I say all of this with the deepest respect and awe for how you are taking care of your mom.


  4. Thank you for your well thought out comment, Mellodee.

    My point with this article is for folks who are in the "maybe" I'll go tomorrow crowd... tomorrow never comes.

    Saturday night when I was leaving the facility a resident sat in the lobby, in the dark... she was waiting for her family. She was upset because they didn't even call. She asked me why didn't they call? How does one answer?

    Few visits seem to coincide with rapid decline in the residents health.