Today, for the first time in months, I feel like I can take a day to relax. I feel good!
It has been two weeks since we moved Mom to assisted living. Yesterday, we finally finished clearing her IL apartment and had the final inspection. Sorting and cleaning took 2 weeks. Some things went to AL, some to Salvation Army, some to local charity and some home to sort and sell. Mom is being cared for and is in a safe place. It is not over, of course, as her dementia has increased since we moved her and she is continuing to go downhill. But at least for now, some of the worry and responsibility is off our shoulders.
A word to all of you who have parents who refuse to move when you know they need help - don't wait too long like we did! You are not doing your parent a kindness. The move is much harder on them (and you) the older and less competent they are. After speaking to several residents at Mom's IL, every one old us the same thing - she wasn't eating, she waited for anyone she "knew" to come and walk with her to dinner, or she went back in her apartment, or she would go to the dining room and if she didn't see a "friend" she would leave. Other residents looked after her in many ways, they noticed she was confused a lot, she had lost the ability to connect time with meals and events, she was looking worse and worse, they were all worried about her and took care of her, etc. We did no favors for her, letting her go on just because she refused to accept help, and the family didn't want her to be upset by a move. Now family realizes her quality of life would have been much better if we had done this sooner. Her AL is lovely and the people take very good care of her, which is what she needed. Now the doctor can put her on antidepressants whereas before she was not competent enough to take any meds and refused to let an aide in. She hadn't showered in at least 3 years, or even bathed in a year, now they make sure she is clean. Once she gets used to it, she will be happier because she loves having people pay attention to her! Sometimes the hard decisions are the best decisions. I'm so glad she is in AL.