At the end of last month I had to move back home to be the primary care giver for my ailing mother. She had been falling almost twice a day, every day for almost two weeks. The last straw was when she fell and ended up in the hall closet. If it was not for her home health aide showing up on time, she would have been in the closet for hours which could have been deadly. I had been vacillating for months if I should move home or not due to her failing health, but I finally made the decision and I am so glad that I did.
Although I am married, my husband has been very supportive and understanding of the issues I am facing. I am not an only child, but my sister lives on the other side of the country in Los Angeles, CA. My uncle was living with her, but he has to work and often leaves for days at a time. Facing the possibility that my mother could end up really hurting herself during a fall, I took a leave of absence from my job and have been caring for her 24/7.
Since I have been home, she has only fallen six times. She has been having physical and occupational therapy weekly and was recently discharged due to an increased improvement in her balance and gait. But the best thing is her MRI came back clear and we have finally got the best cocktail of medications. It took a long time coming, but I finally feel like I can breathe a little easier knowing that she will be okay.
Her primary care physician made the call that she needs to move into an assisted living community. It was a hard pill for mom to swallow, but now she is excited to start a new chapter in her life. She is not going to be able to age in place at our family home, due to safety reasons. However, we found a nice, safe and award-winning facility close to my home. It’s been a tedious search, but I am so happy that she will be taken care of.
Usually, I don’t talk about my family, but I felt like sharing this story on my blog because a lot of my friends are watching their parents age and I want them and others to know, they are not alone. One of my high school friend’s father just passed last week and another’s mother the week before. Being middle aged has been good and bad, full of ups and downs, but I will have to say that watching my mother age has been the toughest part so far. I can truly say that I am happy she is still here though. Sometimes I feel like the world is on my shoulders, but I know God is not going to put more on me that I can bear.
To those who are going through something similar with their parents know this: As you honor your father and your mother, your days will be long Ex 20:12. [It] is the first commandment with a promise, that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on earth. Eph 6:2-3. You can take comfort in that assurance.