Mom is 83.
Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer around Mothers Day, 2012 (2nd time for lung cancer)
Mom had chemotherapy and radiation (her choice of treatment)
Mom was at home, independent, walking without assistance, driving, etc. until Memorial Day weekend when she went to the hospital. She was severely dehydrated and had a minor heart attack. I was out of town that week but other family members had been in to visit. When I left town I had two cases of Ensure drinks on the kitchen counter so Mom would remember to drink them and family members would see the Ensure, too. I Iearned that one of the family members found some of the Ensure drinks put away in the pantry instead of Mom drinking them - was Mom hiding the drinks so that she didn't have to drink them? I asked everyone and noone else put those drinks in the pantry and the rest of the Ensure drinks were still on the kitchen counter when I got back in town. I am confident that the visiting family members are responsible adults and are telling the truth.
Mom has been going between the NH and the hospital since Memorial Day weekend.
Mom has had diarrhea since before she went into the hospital. Neither the hospital nor the NH has been able to fix the diarrhea. Before she went into the hospital over Memorial Day weekend she had had accidents at home because she could not get to the bathroom on time - I have had to scrub the carpets more than once.
Now, Mom is in the NH, using a walker, a wheelchair and oxygen 24/7. She still has diarrhea, still needs assistance cleaning herself. Nothing seems to fix the diarrhea.
Mom is currently walking only while the staff is with her. She cannot go from the walker to the wheelchair without assistance. She cannot go from the bed to the wheelchair without assistance. Therefore, even if we have a commode right next to her, she may not be able to get to it.
Mom does not like to take her meds in the NH. The staff must actually see her take the meds before they can leave the bedside, and I often have to remind Mom to take her meds (she says "I'll take them in a little while"). I tell her that the staff must see her take the meds and she then takes them, grudingly.
A few weeks ago I talked with the social worker at the NH and told her that Mom needed to be independent to go home - that I would not be providing nursing/caregiving/bathing/personal hygiene - Mom needed to be independent, no matter what story Mom told them.
Yesterday while sitting with my mother at the NH, the social worker came into the room and said that Mom was being released on August 2, 2012. Then she turned to me and asked me (yes, in front of my mother), if I was willing to care for her. I said that I was not a nurse and did not feel competent to provide nursing care. I said that I have my own medical issues and would not be able to lift my mother, or pick her up if she falls.
Why is the NH releasing her on August 2?
Why is the NH releasing her if she still has diarrhea?
Why is the NH releasing her if she cannot get from her chair to the commode without assistance?
Why did the Social Worker put me on the spot like that?
Next issue, caregiving.
I have been here with Mom for over two years. I have desperately wanted to return to my home. I miss my children and grandchildren. I do not want to be a full time caretaker. I do not want to bathe my mother. I do not want to clean my mother when she has diarrhea. I have already spend two years cooking for her her and helping her around the house, I want to go home. Our relationship is difficult and strained, always has been. I want to go home.
The closest family member lives 2 hours away and does not make a lot of money, so he cannot take off work to come down here. It is too far for him to commute each day.
In-home care is good, but, in my opinion, is probably not enough - 1 in-home nurses visit per week, 1 in-home physical therapist visit per week, and 3/day CNA in-home for bathing/personal cleaning.
Mom wants to go home. If I was her I would want to go home, too. Mom would rather die at home than in a NH and I would feel the same way. Should she go home, alone, and let nature (both human and biological) take its course? If she has diarrhea and soils herself, isn't that neglect?
What is the responsible thing to do?
After the social worker put me on the spot like that, I do not feel that I can trust her with this issue.