Thursday, September 29, 2016

Unexpected News - I'm not crazy about it

Monday, my sister Donna and I met at Mom’s Village apartment. We found her lying down but she was up immediately when she saw who it was. Donna had briefed her the previous day that we were coming and so is a lady from CCAC. (Community Care and Access). She didn’t remember, but that was expected.

Village life last fall
Getting familiar with the organ again

Family reunion with my children

Mom at an earlier stage loved the outdoors
She is currently living in an Assisted Living situation, where she gets cued for meals and her pills dispensed for her. Donna has taken care of her housekeeping once a week as well as her laundry. We pay for the meal cueing and med dispensing, or should I say Mom does and the Veteran’s Affairs pays for the cleaning. That was the way it was up until Mom had her upset with the tumor/surgery/recovery.                                                
3 of her geographically closest daughters
Mom and her beautiful smile
When she came home from the hospital she needed help, naturally, with more things. We have found it necessary to get some help for Mom with her everyday routines. Getting up, washed, dressed etc. as well as getting ready for bed in the evening. Because of her dementia she doesn’t always remember to do the everyday things that are normal to you and I. As sad as that is, it is a fact of her life so it is time to step in and get her the assistance she needs.
Mom gets a kick out of selfies even if she
doesn't quite understand it
The staff at The Village have been excellent and have assigned help with the morning and evening process as well as sending someone up at every meal time to take her down and bring her back to her apartment. This is wonderful, however, very costly. Mom is a Veteran so qualifies for a plethora of benefits but sometimes it is like pulling teeth. If a service is provided ‘free’ by the province (CCAC) we have to go that route first.
An Easter gathering
Back to our visit from Lisa on Monday. The three of us sat around and even though Donna and I remained quiet for the most part, many questions directed at Mom were met with flippancy, sarcasm or even frustration simply because she had the attention and it is a cover up when you don’t know the answer. At these times, we would provide the information required. We know Mom’s needs and want to get her the help on a daily basis if possible.

Where we get our sense of humour
Mom turning 90
After half an hour or so we were asked to step out into a private area so Lisa could chat with us without Mom hearing. Mom is no fool and let us go with a “I know you are going to talk so I can’t hear you”. God love her. Outside, we were given the unexpected news that according to her assessment, we needed to start looking at prospective long term care homes.

Donna and I
That hit like a rock and there were two sisters sitting there looking at each other with a dazed look in their eyes, absorbing this information. OMG, here we were thinking that Mom was generally improving for the most part, although we really didn’t know just what the staff had been dealing with over the last week. So, given this information there was naught to do but act on the recommendation.

It isn’t going to be an easy step to take, not so much for Mom, but for the rest of us. Two of four sisters who live closest to Mom go south for the winter, one is younger and a single mom with a full time job and the other, her power of attorney. Two other sisters and a brother live in farther reaches of this country, Alberta, Quebec and northern Ontario so they can only provide support from afar.

Rare occasion of all of us together
This is a move we need to act on now, at least by means of checking out the homes in the vicinity, get her on a waiting list and either hope it comes together before December or not until April or May when more of us are available. No matter when or where, Mom is the priority and we need to make this transition as painless as possible. With her dementia accelerating to the degree it is, I believe it will be an easier move than 6 years ago when we sold her possessions and moved her here.
2010 Garage sale prior to house sale

I hope I’m right.

Thank you for reading and feel free to comment.


  1. We can't imagine the pain of having to make plans for your mom.

    It's about time.

    1. As long as we keep Mom's best interests in mind, we can get her through this.

  2. This has to be a difficult time for you. It's nice that you have siblings to lean on.Steve and I are going back to Florida for a few months. I want to spend more time with my parents while all is good. I have five brothers and one sister who are nearby to keep an eye on them. I'm sure you will figure it all out.

    1. Thank you Joan for your comment. As siblings we are indeed blessed that there are so many of us close to Mom. I just moved up here in June and it was the best decision I've made in regards to Mom.

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  4. Your mother is blessed to have had the children she did. I'm sure that with the love you have for your mother the right decisions will be made. It's tough to see the pillars in our lives age.

    1. Thank you Terry. Life is a circle and even though some things inevitable, it sure doesn't make them any easier!

  5. Good Luck with the transition, it is not fun to see our parents go that way. Got my Mom in the long term care this past January.
    They only give you a few days to accept an opening and move in when something comes up, hope it goes smoothly.

    1. Thank you George. The waiting lists for private rooms in the care homes we are looking at are not long so hopefully the transition will be quick and smooth.

  6. Nice pictures Pat. Mom is a strong woman and has come through many painful, stressful and embarrassing situations in her 90 years, usually with determination and grit. Now it is up to us to have that same strength to move towards this next phase in her care. Standing together, I'm sure we can find that inbred grit and stamina!