Almost every time a new resident admits we hear familiar statements from family members... "mom & dad made us promise to never move them into a nursing home" or "dad's dream was to be able to retire and grow old up at the lake" and "it was so devastating for mom when we told her she couldn't live alone in her home anymore."
These are typically followed by "we realized mom & dad couldn't live on their own anymore when they weren't able to keep up with the house" or "dad couldn't stay at the lake home anymore because he forgets to take his medications" and "it's no longer safe for mom to be alone in her home because she has had so many falls."
Ideally, mom & dad would be able to retire and live their golden years at the lake, traveling & escaping to their condo in Arizona for 6 months every winter. But here you are... touring care homes.
A few months ago, I was talking to a family member whose mom had just moved in. She was concerned that her mom wouldn't be able to adjust to her new living situation. She was worried that she wouldn't want to leave her room, wouldn't make any friends and would continue to decline.
In the past, her parents were very active at church, at the senior center, had a card club they met with regularly and had been wintering in Arizona for the last 15 years. After her dad passed away two years ago, her mom became withdrawn, she wasn't eating & drinking enough water and her health was declining. After being in and out of the hospital for the past year, reality set in that mom needed 24 hour care.
I met with her mom and talked about her interests and activities she enjoyed doing in the past. Together we picked out a few activities for the week that she agreed to try. After finding a couple she liked, she was open to trying a few more. By the end of the month she was going to 3-4 activities a day and had started to build some nice friendships with the residents she shared a table with in the dining room.
Her daughter called me last week to say that she is so thankful her mom is here. For the first time since her dad passed away, she knows her mom is getting the care she needs. Her fears of her mom "burning the house down", forgetting to take her medications and falling down no longer consume her thoughts.
She also wanted to let me know that she came to visit her mom the other day and was scolded for not calling to let her know ahead of time. She told her that her days are "too busy" with all the things going on and she doesn't like to miss out. She suggested visiting after dinner... unless it's a bingo night.
I'm thankful to know that another mom is getting the care she needs and is finding her happiness again in her new home :-)