Tuesday, August 23, 2011


This is Angus.  He watches over each resident.   He enters the rooms quietly but purposefully, his dark gaze taking in everything.  When he appears satisfied that nothing is amiss, he departs,  only to return at least twice more during my visits.  My mother still sleeps, eyes closed, fist clenched in her lap.  I hope for a spark of life, of some indication she will join in my presence.  Till then, I'm fairly certain Angus will continue to keep watch.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This is Buttons.  She, like my mother, is a newcomer to the nursing home.  On her first day, she curled up in her chair and refused to open her eyes or deal with other life forms in any way.  Even offerings of  chocolate  tuna treats, weren't enough to get her to open her eyes and participate.  I pleaded, I cajoled, I held her hand paw...all to no avail.  Like the two year old who thinks she is invisible if she closes her eyes, Mom Buttons remained obstinate throughout her first evening, even going so far as to spit out her medication at one point.  I left in the evening hoping for a change in attitude by morning.

Eyes open, one might even suspect a smile on her little face.....the second day brought a change in attitude.  We retired to the sun porch, in full view of the bird feeders and children next door at play.  Is there a huge change?  Not yet....but as one curled up in the lap of the other, things were looking up.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One Voice

I am my mothers voice.  I make all decisions for her as she cannot make her own.  This is not a role or job I ever wanted.  Fortunately, I have done better for her than I have at times done for myself.  I am an only child and therefore have no one to consult when acting on her behalf.  Sometimes it's a blessing and other times a curse.
I am moving my mother to a new facility.  In the space of five years, she is months away from exhausting her entire life savings.  The quality of her current placement has been on a downward spiral for several months.  The outstanding staff members are leaving only to be replaced by people who don't share the same affection or respect for those whose care is entrusted to them.  I dread the move and the subsequent disruption in her functioning.  I feel guilty already but logic tells me this move is necessary.
She is moving to a 33 bed two story Victorian ten minutes from my home.  I travel an hour one way currently to visit her.  Is part of my decision based on convenience for me.......absolutely.
I did mention I'm tired...right?  There is a resident black lab dog who goes by the name Armando (more on him later) and two furry felines who own the place and whatever beds they happen to claim on any given day.  It sounds good.  Why does this feel so difficult?  I have been second guessing myself for two days.  I have interviewed other facilities and found them lacking.  In short, I have done all I can do to assure that she goes to a good, caring place.  The thing is.....no matter how clean, how respectful, how caring, cats or no cats.....I would never want to be in one of these places and the fact is, neither would she.