Facebook saw fit to remind me the other day that it had been a year since I started blogging! How is it that time can seem to fly by, and at the same time feel like an eternity? I guess it’s the same way that I feel totally alone in my situation, and yet I’m never, ever alone.
The past couple of weeks have been—odd, to put it mildly. I started writing just now and then noticed I haven’t written since my meeting with an elder care lawyer. The one near me is about to retire, but she referred me to another practice and I met with a very nice guy there. He is seriously knowledgeable (law is his second career; he started as a nursing home administrator, so knows all that stuff inside out) and was able to tell me right away that mom’s name having been on my bank accounts in the past would not be a problem when time comes to try to get her financial help. Better yet, he thinks she can probably still claim my parents’ old home as hers, and that won’t affect it either. He can even protect her small bank account, it seems.
I explained how 24/7 caring for mom is wearing me down, how I feel I’m reaching a point of not being able to give her what she needs at home, and what facilities I’ve looked at. He didn’t seem all that interested in memory care, though. Instead, he kept telling me to call Medicaid right now and get her evaluated. I could potentially get sitters 40 hours a week at home. The problem is, while financially he can make her eligible, the medical guidelines have apparently been changed such that it’s next to impossible to qualify unless one is at death’s door. And really, 40 hours would be nice, but the lawyer kept suggesting I could then go back to work, and that couldn’t happen. It takes more than 40 hours a week to work 40 hours a week, if you know what I mean. There’s commute time, for one thing, and the hope of getting enough sleep at night to be able to keep a job during the day, for another. I feel like I would actually end up in worse condition in that scenario, and mom might too, unless sitters could entertain her and wear her out enough to make her sleep at night. I’ve tried that though, and like every single other thing about her now, you never know. Sometimes she can rave all day, and then sleeps all night. Sometimes she can rave all day, AND all night.
As I thought for a while about our conversation, I realized Mr. Lawyer had spent a good bit of time trying in a subtle kind of way to discourage me from looking further into moving mom into memory care. Whether that is because he is sincerely thinking of my and her best interests, or just wants me to consult with them more, or what, I have no idea. I know that realization really tapped into all my worries and misgivings, mostly about the financial side of the thing; not about the facility itself, the one that I’m leaning toward, (Place K, for those of you playing along at home, lol) I know it’s excellent. I just can’t stop worrying about what happens if and when mom runs out of money, if there is no room in the nursing home section, if it takes too long to sign up for Medicaid, or if Medicaid won’t take her at all, or if she raves and cusses and hits people and they call me at midnight on a stormy Friday night and say I have to come get her. And what if I have moved on? What if I have a new job, or I’ve sold my house to the son of the couple across the street who approached me last week wanting to buy it and moved into a condo and have no room for mom?
The fears are overwhelming and paralyzing, like weasels munching on my brain and making it hard to even think. It doesn’t help that mom can raise cain for 4 or 6 or 15 hours one day, confused and angry and trying to get out of the house, and a couple of hours later be sweet and mild, and a couple of hours after THAT be moaning and wailing in pain. I’m left not knowing what to do.
At least, if and when I start the process, I think I know how to approach it with her. With all her medical complaints, I have started mentioning I know a place with 24 hour nursing care and a great doctor who makes house calls. LOL. Especially the times when she is mad and wanting me to leave and not come back because I know nothing. When the time comes, I think I can tell her that her doctor wants her there temporarily for monitoring and better medical care than I can give. Since she has no concept of time anymore, or of who I am or where she is usually, that may fly. I’m just hoping I can enlist some family help, because I have a hard enough time getting her to a doctor’s appointment and back by myself any more, let alone moving her across town.
Wish I had something fun to write about this time! Sorry to be such a downer. Spring is coming, and I love the violets that are starting to bloom in my front yard, so here they are. Not a great pic; no sunshine, storms are moving in. Mom doesn't really notice the weather much anymore, or care. When bad weather was predicted, she always used to call me at work to warn me to drive carefully. She got that from my grandfather, I think, because he used to do the same to her. It annoyed me so much, but now I'd give anything for her to be able to annoy me like that again. Moral of the story, be thankful even for annoying things, because you may miss them one day.