Mom is now in a nursing home. Although mobile and lucid enought to make it in assisted living, she refused to use a walker (and at 100, she is naturally unsteady). She had fallen several times over the last several months but this week fell and hit her head. Trip to hospital, back to AL disoriented and unable to walk without falling. The AL was wonderful, making arrangements for us to move her directly to a nursing home as they could not provide the care she needs.
So it spirals for Mom's sad downward spiral and no one can help her. She has always always been a cat on a hot tin roof, up and down up and down with absolutely no attention span or interest in a hobby, reading, even watching tv - nothing. (And I'm talking this has been the case for 50 years that I can remember. That is her personality, figetity, restless, only temporarily occupied by someone paying her direct attention, constantly, so now it is 100 times worse) She cannot walk without falling unless she is assisted with a walker otherwise she will fall. She fell in the hospital. She cannot remember what she has been told or taught for even five minutes (like "don't get up without help")
Mom's first night in the home (and they are wonderful to her) consisted of her getting out of bed or the chair every five minutes. They put an alarm on the bed and chair. Finally they had to move her next to the nurse's station because it was constant all night. While I was on the phone with the nurse, the alarm was going off.
I am so sad. I feel so bad for her. She is confused, she is unhappy, she wants to "go home" but she can't and my sister and I can't help her because she doesn't understand or remember. The AL said if she comes out of it, agrees to use a walker so she won't fall , they will re-evaluate to see if she can come back. But, I know in my heart she will not. We tell her that to give her encouragement, and she temporarily understands and agrees to try, to eat, agrees to use the walker so she can go back, but five minutes later she forgets.
So, I now understand why nursing homes sedate or tie residents in their beds or chairs because there is eventually no other option for someone like Mom. There seems to be nothing they can occupy her with that will keep her in one spot. The other choice is to let her get up, wander and immediately fall or to pay someone to velcro themselves to her 24/7. We are already paying $11000 a month!
Its awful to say, but we are both praying this emotional pain will be over quickly for her, and for us.
I imagine others have gone through this too. It is so painful both emotionally and financially. When quality of life is this bad (whether the pain is physical or mental) a person can live too long.