I see that it’s been a few days since any posting–my how time flies–so let me update the scene at Bickford. I mentioned a few posts ago that we’d agreed to move Mom to the room closer to the dining room and living room since her walking has deteriorated so much. Saturday I, my husband, my sister and her husband marched on Bickford with dolly and straps in hand. My husband immediately began dismantling the bed, while we others worked on smaller items that fit well on the dolly. The furniture was all moved before 2:00. How well I know that the furniture, though heavy, is the easy part. It’s all that little stuff to be cleaned out of closet and cupboards that takes time. One of the changes we faced in the new room is that, though the room is bigger, the closet is significantly smaller. Why? Nevertheless, we were faced with more down-sizing because of that, and also removed items my mother no longer can use. Out went the typewriter, the few golf clubs at the back of the closet, and the smaller size pants that just don’t fit anymore (don’t tell Mom! She still worries about the size of her stomach). We debated the boom box, but left it since she enjoys the music if someone turns it on for her. But there is no where for the bird seed or the vacuum cleaner, and the space to hang clothing is laughable. I’d like to remove some of the shelving from the closet, but I don’t know if that’s OK. We haven’t tackled that issue yet. And then there’s the other thing: what to do with the stuff we brought out. Don’t ask, don’t tell.
Mom is doing pretty well in the new space. We kept reminding her Saturday about why she was moving, and she said, “I know I’m supposed to sit here, so that’s what I’m doing.” Enduring what must be endured without complaint, that’s Mom for you. In the first few days, we weren’t seeing any confusion, but by Wednesday, she asked when she was going home. I went over the facts again, and we went out into the hall and looked at how far it was to the old room. She always agrees that this was the right move when she sees the distance; she understands that her stamina is low. Today I was going over this again, and said her legs just couldn’t go the distance anymore, and she slapped her legs for not doing their job. Aw, Mom. I told her again that it is not her fault, none of her limited abilities of memory, strength or vision are her fault, and that she does the best she can every day. And that’s true, though she rolls her eyes. No one is meaner to Betsy than Betsy, but I guess many of us act the same way.
My brother came for a visit today, and the cook, who loves my parents (and this is the OTHER cook, not the dear one who bought a waffle iron–we are so lucky!), brought out fresh, warm cookies, so we shared the cookies and had some coffee. My father was delighted to see my brother, and they had a great time talking golf and other topics. After I left, Mom said to my brother, “I want to go home.” “To your room?” he asked. Yes, and so he walked Coco and Mom back to the new room. He reported that Mom settled into her chair and seemed to be fine with the new room, which is good news. Only one thing made me sad: another resident (who has all her faculties) told me that Mom came through the courtyard sometime after dinner yesterday without her walker. When she got inside, she told this resident, “I’m scared.” Of course there was help immediately, but it still makes my heart ache. I suspect she walked down to her old room (which I think is unlocked), and entered only to find it empty and didn’t know where to go. I hate having her feel lost or frightened–I’m glad she could express her feelings and get help. She’s in the right place.
I will be traveling for a couple of weeks, and take this opportunity to thank my sister for supporting me in making this trip to celebrate our 35th anniversary. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart, and for all you’ll do when I’m away. Call me anytime! If nothing else, I can listen.