My mother passed away last week, after a couple of difficult years. First we moved in with her for about 6 months, then we moved her in with us for about six months, and she spent her final four months in a nursing home. She went downhill pretty quickly, and suffered dementia as her body became very weak This site was a lifeline so many times... Exhausted, confused, or sometimes feeling strong and helpful, I checked in every evening, and would come away with hope, a renewed spirit, and I ALWAYS learned something new.
I learned so much on this journey. I have always been the one on the family to handle everything, but during this process, I learned a lot about my own limitations and how to deal with them. I shared many lovely moments with my Mom during the time I cared for her. I would not trade those times for anything.. Times like when I would crawl in bed with her after tucking her in, and she would pat my head (like she did when I was a little girl) while we watched M.A.S.H. I also had many frustrating times when I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I have to chuckle when I would check in, and be totally overwhelmed, and someone would suggest that I take a walk, or go out to lunch, and I'd be thinking more like "I know, I'll move to Puerto Rico and no one will ever find me!" lol Towards the end, I was simply unable to do her body care alone, and she went into a nursing home. This was difficult for all of us, but we really didn't have a choice. I think Mom finally just gave up, and she went to bed and became unresponsive. Three days later, with Hospice in, she passed quietly. She had made her wishes very clear, so she had no IV's for nutrition or hydration, only wetting her mouth and lips.
In the last two weeks, I had prayed for God to take her home. She was just miserable, and fearful, nearly blind and deaf. I prayed this not because I was tired, or inconvenienced, but because I loved her so much that I hated being a witness to what life had become for her. I adored my Mom, and my heart is hurting, but my prayer was answered.
Please know that your kind, non-judgmental words and advise meant the world to this caregiver. I will continue to check in and share my experience and hope. You were here when I needed someone the most. God bless every one of the caregivers. With Love.....Noonie