I finally understand my Mom when she says she doesn't want to end up in a nursing home.
The last posts I've made here are always when I feel overwhelmed or mad at my mom, but this is a different post.
I know that I do not have the patience or the sanity to take care of my mom if she becomes worse than she is. But my cousin, which is in her 40s, recently had a stroke that made her paralyzed on the right side. She doesn't really have anyone to take care of her. I certainly can't and her husband has already passed away and her kids can't do it either. So she's in a rest home. I've been visiting her nearly every day for the past few weeks because nobody else has. Her kids have visited her once and the rest of the family is too far to visit or just don't care.
When I first walked into the rest home it didn't seem so bad. I came on a good day though, it was "Candlelight Dinner" day. They had great music playing, the residents seemed in good spirits, and they were having a sort of party in the dinner room which was right next to my cousin's room. The staff seemed wonderful. And her roommate is a great lady. I had a lot of hope for her getting better there.
As each day passed the place seems to be getting dimmer and dimmer though. I realized that the Candlelight Dinner day was not an every day thing. The walls seemed to close in more. And the smells started to float through the air. And the staff started to seem less patient, more hauty and it seemed like they never gave my cousin a bath or changed her diaper until I came to see her when I could directly ask a nurse. The hallways are depressing with people in the hallways in their wheelchairs, or walking around in their diaper looking lost, one lady got completely undressed.
The outside area is beautiful. They have a courtyard with cute patio tables and lots of flowers, but inside the resident's curtains are always closed and they never seem to go out and get fresh air.
This is my first time going into a rest home so much and now i finally realize why my mom says she never wants to end up there. I can't blame her. I wouldn't want my mom there. I could not live with myself or look myself in the mirror if I knew that my mom was in the hallway in her diaper.
But on the other hand I know myself too well to know that I would resent my mother for the "burden". For not being able to live my life the way I need to for my sanity.
Life. Is. So. Hard.
Thankfully i don't have to think about that now really. But it is hard seeing my cousin in there like that.
Is there a happy medium?