Everyday this week has beckoned me forth to sort through some details of Mom's homecoming. The nursing home recommended us to Accent Home Healthcare providers. They are really a lovely group of helpful young professional women who truly want to help.
First thing yesterday morning I had an appointment with the bank manager to sort out Mom's accounts. When I lived in Chicago Mom was the victim of elder financial abuse. When I returned, her savings had dwindled down to zero. Nada. It has taken us since 2011 to rest this case in the courts. She has received a small percentage of what was taken in restitution and I am doing all that I can do to protect it for her now. As far as we can foresee, at her current need level, it will last her about 1.5 years. And then we will have to bless the loaves and the fishes.
I then met the physical therapist at Mom's house where she worked with her on getting up and down from her chairs and walking a bit. Mom has two kinds of Parkinsons' disease, and basically she has reached a plateau in her abilities. because truly, she has just completed 4 months of PT Boot Camp, being in the rehab center. But Mom seems to really like Sarah, the physical therapist, and was proud to show her accomplishments for her four months of very hard work. I too, was impressed. While it is clear she can never live alone again, just to know that she can help herself transfer is the greatest news!
While they worked in the bedroom, Megan the social worker arrived and we sat together at the kitchen table where she asked me many questions and was forthcoming with a full sheet of resources that would help me through our personal challenges all the way from Volunteer Wheels to a suppot group for me. I think she is my new BFF.
Mom is very frustrated with Tokasa, which in no way is a reflection on Tokasa. That is Mom. I knew from the moment we came to the decision she would come home with a full time caregiver that she would not like that person. She was not liking that person way before we even started interviewing. I know Tokasa is a loving and kind caregiver. After the gaggle of professionals left yesterday Mom kept whispering her angst to me. A ninety year old, hard-of-hearing woman does not whisper. She is concerned that Tokasa does not have the strength to help her physically. I told her we have to wait until we have the new bed. The situation for transferring now in far from optimal. While I do have this understanding, I also respect Mom's fear of falling. So does Tokasa. Tokasa told me yesterday she feels so sorry for Mom each day. She knows how full of angst she is. The good news is, the very goodest news, her hospital bed with the air mattress arrives this morning!
So all that said, then the catty stuff begins. Mom whispering (or so she thinks) that Tokasa "is a nosey one." I scolded her on this one: "Mom! Stop!" And she answers, "Well I'm just telling you for your own good!" Here is where I can see the dementia that she is diagnosed with and I argue against. yesterday the social worker asked me if Mom hallucinated. I thought not. But now I wonder if this might be a kind of hallucination, because she thought the same thing about her roommate in the rehab hospital. She said everyone was so nosy and wanted to know all her business. Tokasa does not care in the least about Mom's private business. What is there to care about anyway? Tokasa is a soft spoken, slow and intentional moving, prayerful woman.
So as I sit here and write, I'm having somewhat of an epiphany regarding Mom's mental status. Or, my definition of dementia. Maybe I just don't know (and don't see) her deterioration for what it truly is. Maybe dementia has set in and I need to be open to that fact. Maybe I need to lower the shield I hold in front of Mom and allow the truth of the situation to be seen.
Man-oh-man I feel a lesson coming on. But first I have to shower because Mom needs to be at the doctors at 9:30! And then I have to be to work by noon.