Bringing Mama home and making it work.

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I've decided to bring my mother home from assisted living, although several of you here on the forum advised me against it. There are several reasons for doing it, but one is that she's bored out of her skull at the only ALF she can afford, since she functions at so much higher a level than anyone else there. I'm determined to make the return home work for her, me and the whole family. May I share my experiences, free associate, and get your reactions as we advance in this adventure? I know I'll have many questions, often about the little stuff, and I'll be so grateful for your answers.

I retired a few weeks ago and returned to the family home in Florida to get it ready for her homecoming. This is hard work---the place has deteriorated during three unoccupied years and it was already old---built in 1928. My brother, I and our children and grandchildren have vowed to make repairing it a family project, although we're scattered all over the country. My nephew is here for a month from California to help get things up and running, and he's re-doing the deck; my daughter and her husband came last week from Texas and remodeled a bathroom. My son will be here this summer to deal with the "family archive"---six filing cabinets jammed with paper, photos, old financial records, to-do lists, Christmas cards. I've had in plumbers, appliance repairmen, handymen, yard men, cleaning help, furniture movers and, next, carpet layers. Mama will come home at the end of April. My nephew and I are careful to consult her about changes that we know will be very important to her. We figure if we defer to her preferences on three or four things, we can make "executive decisions" (e.g., to send something to the dump) about one or two things without upsetting her too much.

So...off to the races! And hugs to you all.

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In our case, it doesn't matter. The folks at the nh are used to working with elderly, aometimes demented patients, ao they do labs and xrays and such to find out what's going on. A good geriatrics doctor can be a lot like a good vet in my experience. And i mean that as a compliment to both.
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Thanks, Babalou. Have you ever been able to get her to describe what she means by "weak"? I try to pin Mama down to figure out if she actually means weak in the body, or just listless and without energy, but she can't articulate the feeling. It's so hard to get her to describe her symptoms in a way that the doctor can react to. Is it hard to get up? walk around? or does she just not want to? (Does it matter?)
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Glad she seems to be improving. Let us know how this goes; we learn from each other.

if I seem a bit alarmist, it's because my mom, who is now 92, has had pneumonia several times, with just the symptom of feeling "weak". No fever, no cough. She'd be dead if she weren't in NH. Also, a heart block. No real symptoms. Just "not myself today ".
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Whatever is going on, it's a change in her behavior. Although today she got up, put on makeup and seemed normal. She's amazingly healthy --- no cardiac, pulmonary, etc., issues. Just gastric reflux from time to time and a touch of arthritis in one arm. I'll get her to her PCP.
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Hmmmmm. Can you get her doctor on the phone and talk to her/him about this? What are her cardiac issues? Does she have a pacemaker?

Frankly, in your shoes, I'd be inclined to call the emts to make sure her vitals are okay. If you have a bp cuff and a pulse oximeter, I'd get them out. You don't have an RN in the neighborhood, do you?
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Ah. Or, rather, AAAARRRGGHH!!! Routine follow up? Sounds as if the follow-up might have ended up not being so routine after all… Can you remake the appointment and drive her there if need be?
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Oh, yes, she recognizes it. She says she's embarrassed to spend the day in bed and not do anything. But she denies any specific ailment, and just says she feels "weak." I'm waiting for an appointment with her primary care physician. The appointment she cancelled today was a routine follow up with a cardiologist.
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What does she say about it, Realtime? Does she come up with lame excuses, or does she agree that she's feeling unwell?
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Okay, now I'm worried. My mother returned two weeks ago from her annual three-week cross-country trip with my brother and his wife to visit the grandkids. During the first week home, she was lively and engaged: we made outings to her hairdresser, the library, for dinner with old friends. Then last week she did something she had never EVER done before: she stayed in pajamas all day and failed to put on her makeup and earrings. She has put on makeup and earrings even following surgery, accidents, pneumonia... Then the next day she again stayed in pajamas, without makeup. And today she cancelled a doctor appointment, although she often seems to see them as the highlight of her week. She'll be 95 in October. She's supposedly in good health. What's happening?
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Now, if they could be encouraged to chase off my sister-in-law...
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