Married for 20 years my stepfather (88) and mother (82) lived on a rural property about 35 min from me. He was the primary cook and general caregiver for my mother.
Last fall he became ill and was hospitalized. Subsequently went to rehab to gain his strength back. Was released from rehab but still needed care. Tried a home visit, but clearly wasn't going to be enough, needed more help so we went to ALF. Since mother wanted to be with him she moved there also. He moved into the ALF and within 24 hours was told he needed hospitalization and died a week later on Christmas Day. With the help of my siblings and her siblings she agreed that she shouldn’t move back to the rural address. We sold the property.
So now mom was in the ALF but living as an independent. I had her briefly evaluated by her doctor who said she had mild cognitive impairment. In addition mom has multiple chronic issues (among them instability, high blood pressure, diabetes (uncontrolled), glaucoma, macular degeneration ) takes lots of medication and needs a walker. I look at her medication boxes regularly, there is usually a couple of days missed, but she fills them on odd days. I planned to get her medications administered to her by the ALF in the next few weeks, but didn’t know how to approach her with this.
I’m afraid of making my mother feel like an invalid.
In the middle of this last few months after losing her husband, her home, and her dog (run over in the middle of this) there was another death in the immediate family.
Mom’s outlet has always been a sewing club at a church where she used to live. I’ve taken her there a few times and she knows it’s too far away. We’ve attended a different places locally but she couldn’t see the screen and it was a modern type service which she couldn’t follow. She hasn’t wanted to go back.
One day she says she’s been enjoying the ALF and has started to make new friends. They have tons of activities at the ALF, but she doesn't always want to participate. She stays in her apartment a lot. Then on another day she has talked about missing her friends, that the ladies she eats with at the ALF aren’t really her friends.
Just recently she got invited to a bday party with friends from old church. Upon getting there she asks if there’s any ALF nearby. They all say yes and they decide to go and look at the place. Two hours later Mom promptly calls me and says she is thinking of moving there to be by her friends. She misses them. The friends she has made at the ALF aren't her real friends she's had for over 15 years. I’ve tried to get her connected and we've been to another church she didn't like. I also contacted another church and they are reaching out to her. But it will take awhile.
The place she wants is over an hour away from me. I don’t have children but I am a school administrator and can’t take off of work all of the time. I’ve taken more time off in the last several months. I can't be running up there all the time.
Am I being selfish?
When we spoke on the phone mom said my husband and I had our own lives to live. This has always been the case, my mom has always been independent and gave me the courage to do the same thing….but she needs help! I have tried to preserve her independence and respect her wishes as long as possible. She doesn't realize how much help she needs.
I am torn because I want her to have quality of life, however long that may be, and I want to preserve her independence. Yet I have to be near her and be able to work with the facility where she is living while she's still "independent" as she says. She's really not all that independent.
Any advice out there for how to talk her off the idea of this? Or am I wrong? Do we all have the right to live where we want as long as we can?