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She rarely gets to be in her room (which I have decorated beautifully with photos of family all around and her favorite sayings/scenes, etc.) because they have to keep an eye on her, so she's always in the halls with all the others. I can't imagine what she feels just sitting there. When I visit, we always eat together in her room, and she's always exclaiming how beautiful it is.)


She is still sharp, but because we've never been relationally close (she's always been very all-about-appearances), I don't know how to talk with her and make her life better. Sometimes I just want to bring her home so we can have more time together and get to learn about her, but she needs 24hr supervision. She will crawl out of bed/chair from restless legs, and she'll go one or two whole nights without sleeping, then sleep for two whole days straight. So, I'm just so sad that a human being has to live like this and can't think of what else I can do for her.

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It may not be as troubling for ur mom, as it is 4u, dear. Mom's getting by, as best she can, each day (& sleeping when she wants, even in chair), that's beneficial 2 her.
Nurses want to keep her safe & nearby, that's nice for mom 2, cuz it's around people instead of one room all day! I liked that for my mom, cuz she wud have been a hermit & also fallen down more, if not observed that way. It may look pitiful but it's normal for mom now. (& as long as she gets to see u, that makes her day!)
Try not to make urself sick over it all.💟
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Jocelyne Sep 14, 2019
That's the most wise and practical answer I could ever have heard.... thank you. A whole lot.
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Don’t even think about taking her home. Your life will end & you’ll become sick & resentful. Visit her often & you can even take her outside for fresh air on nice days. Maybe you can even take her out to lunch if you reserve ambulette....or what we have in NY Access a Ride. Got to be careful with them, though, because they are sometimes late...& you have to be sure you are outside waiting where they can see you...
Hugs 🤗
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Jocelyne Sep 14, 2019
Thank you for your great suggestions. I agree, bringing her home is just an emotional reaction... not a wise thought, nor a good idea! LOL... even when she WAS home with me, her world began to shrink, her interests were falling by the wayside, she didn't want to do anything.... it was interesting to observe. Almost like she was ready for the next stage of her life. Thank you...
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She is old and frail and her situation is sad. You make her life better by being present as much as you can. Advocate for her as best you can.

You can ensure that her paperwork is in order i.e. Living Will/DNR so that in the event she does arrest, she will not be resuscitated, which is a shockingly violent act that often ends in cracked ribs, punctured organs, and a ventilator.

You also can ensure that she's not being used by doctors to make a buck. Given her situation, I would stop all unnecessary doctors' visits and medicines. Medicines, especially ones for blood pressure and heart, may be making her tired. She may need lower doses or can be taken off one or more meds in a controlled manner.

You are a good daughter. Peace.
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Jocelyne Sep 14, 2019
Excellent. Thank you so much.... will double check on all that meds stuff. I appreciate your every word. Yes, she's 97 now... it's just so long.....
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We try to make our mother's happy.....we try to make their lives better in any way we can, yet we continually fall short and beat ourselves up. Right? Truth is, your mother is 97 and has lived a long and lovely life.

She's got a beautiful room in a good nursing home community where she's looked after, properly, by a staff you recognize to be excellent. She's fed and entertained and medicated every day. You visit her on a regular basis and share meals with her in a room she considers beautiful. She's sleeping because she's tired and winding down after 97 years of life.
She's doing okay. She's peaceful and content, it sounds like, and in better conditions than the vast majority of elders her age. She doesn't seem to be in pain or suffering, either, and what a blessing THAT is!

It is YOU who's feeling sad and somehow responsible for her lot in life. You're not God, my friend, you're just a loving and concerned daughter. We all need to be reminded of that fact from time to time, myself included. When I get myself running on that hamster wheel, thinking I actually have the power to change my mother's life at 92, I have to give myself the same speech.

We can't fix old age.

All the best as you navigate this phase of life.
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Murphy24 Sep 15, 2019
Beautiful post I needed to hear as well. 🙏🏻
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I don't get the impression that you're concerned your *mother* is unhappy? - it's just you?!

I think perhaps the energy we have left for active enjoyment of life does diminish, inevitably, eventually. I hope and expect that what she feels when she's sitting with others is not much more than that she is tired, and all is well. It seems your mother is conserving her energy for your visits, and for the pleasure she takes in the room you've furnished for her so thoughtfully.

I don't mean you're wrong to be sad, of course not. But there do seem to be highlights worth focusing on instead, perhaps.
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shad250 Sep 14, 2019
NH is happy
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You think it's bad and sad for her, the same could be said for nurse staff that care for her and others.

If you notice in many NHs the top staff, director, reception, manager, etc have little to no contact with residents. When their shift is done, they're gone.

Getting back to your point.
Keeping mom in hall in view of nursing staff, makes it easier on the staff.
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Jocelyne Sep 14, 2019
That is no doubt true... as she will attempt to get out of her chair on wakeful days... but our NH staff happens to be exceptional.
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You seem to understand that you cannot take her home. I know in an ideal world you wish you could, but getting to know Mom now isn't really possible, because she isn't really who she was; things are all different for her now. I agree with you that for many, the long slow slide at the end of life is awful to endure, awful to witness. We all hope we don't have to endure it, but many will have to. Is there any way you can make her a little photo flip book she can keep with her. It doesn't mean she will think to take it or to even look at it if she does, but just grasping for any idea at all. So sorry you have to witness this. There is nothing you can do to fix it. I think you know that.
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Jocelyne Sep 14, 2019
Yes.... thank you so much for your empathy. I love it when someone understands the sadness I have. But you are right... she is not who she once was. Things really ARE all different now. And there's a reason people are told to age gracefully, it is a difficult road to travel. I loved your suggestion and do have several photo albums showing every different stage of her life from childhood to motherhood to retirement years.

I often wonder if stirring up memories like that is a good thing, or a disturbing thing. Like..... "yeah, that's when I used to have a life. Now look at me." Isn't it crazy how we can so easily think the worst of things... maybe she really does enjoy looking at them. I hope and pray I don't live to be 97.... it's just too darn long. But again, that's my own feelings! Sheesh!
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I'm fearing the day I'll have to put Mom in a "home". I've seen it first hand back in the early 80's and they've got worse, in my opinion since then. Mom was in a rehab fac; connected to our hospital which also does long term care. I walked in to see her the day after they transferred her there and my heart Sank! Mom isn't catatonic, she isn't talking to herself, she doesn't have incontinence issues yet; which I dread that happening; but she doesn't cook and her short term memory is down to 15 min or so. She was sitting in a wheelchair at the front desk with 8 others. Those others were rocking in their chairs, babbling incoherently watching a 32" TV on a table. Mom saw me and it looked like she was going to cry. I knew I had no choice but to take care of her as long as I can. That was only 4 months ago and she has gotten a little worse. I have noticed a pattern in her behavior. If her eyes are fully dilated like a cat, I know it's gonna be a bad day. The last 4 days straight have been like that. Yesterday, while I was making dinner and talking, she was OK but in the middle of her telling an old story about when her group of friends used to go roller skating; I saw her eyes suddenly dilate and her demeanor changed. She got angry, started in about things "taken" from her like a broom, a dust mop, her eyebrow pencil by my brother. Really? He hasn't been here in 6 months. It went downhill from there. Since your Mom isn't like mine right now, you have a chance to get closer to her. Ask her a question and listen to her. Spend time with her. Make her smile. She's lonely, like my Mom was at the rehab center. When you can see her, make the most of it. Take pics, take her for ice cream if she likes or just a car ride with you. Bring a DVD to watch together on her TV. If she doesn't have one, Best Buy has a TV/DVD combo on sale cheap (https://www.bestbuy.com/site/westinghouse-32-class-led-720p-hdtv-dvd-combo/5872505.p?skuId=5872505) that you could get for her room. If she will remember how to work it, you can leave the DVD's there for her to watch anytime to help ease her boredom and if anyone else comes to see her; they can also bring movies. Another good thing about that is you can put all her pics on a DVD to play as a slide show from family gatherings, graduation, vacations etc... God Bless.
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Jocelyne Sep 14, 2019
Thank you for the suggestions... I hadn't thought of buying a DVD player for her... but I think her attention span is so short, she may not be able to watch anything for any substantial length of time. It might still be worth it for the small times when she can.... I'll keep that in mind.

You're right, my mom hasn't shown signs of mixed up thoughts that don't make any sense. She has very little to say, so maybe I haven't noticed what mental state she could really be in. As I said, we don't talk much except for the normal hello, and stuff I tell her about our family and my doings. Again, she has a short attention span.

Thank you very much.
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Joceylyn It's   hard on you to witness your mother going through this final stage of life, it brings up so much emotion for us and you re bound to worry on her behalf when she is so frail. Certainly check out if there are any  changes in medication etc to help and also if she is well enough for you to have little outings together, a change of scenery now and then will help you both. But your loving presence must be the greatest blessing of all for her. Take good care and process your own feelings as you go through this time to help you let gp a little
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Jocelyne Sep 15, 2019
Thank you so much.... letting go a little...... <3 So appreciate these attitude adjustments I'm getting!
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