My grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer's and its been steadily getting worse for her, to the point that she mistakes me for her sons (my uncles). Even if I correct her, a few minutes later she repeats the question and I can she how confused she gets when I try to explain to her what's happening. We've been leaving sticky notes for her, hoping that it would help her out around the house, but sadly she's gotten to the point where she ignores them if it's inconvenient for her.
At a family meeting my (a long time ago), my uncles suggested putting her in a home, I had to tell them what it was like from the stories that my friends have told me (as well as my experience working in one). Patients left in the halls crying/screaming for help, for family. A box of disposable gloves that's supposed to last you and your coworkers a week taking care of 16 elderly patients (FYI: you put on gloves any time you walk into a patient's room, so that box quickly runs out in a day). The fact that some care takers actually eat some of the food off the plates before giving them to patients.
I was shocked when they suggested a nursing home. I'm still not sure how to react when they come over for temporary visits after that discussion, as I wake to bumps in the night worried that she may have fallen over, or waking to her banging on the garage door in the early morning after accidentally locking herself out.
No, even after all that I wouldn't put her in a nursing home. Not after all the stories she's read to me, all the times she's tucked me to bed as a child. I owe her for taking care of me during those times I needed it.
Enjoy this little story.
*picture is originally from http://codenamemama.com/2010/11/16/ten-ideas-volunteering/
03/27/2014 (Thursday)- It’s Me, Michael
I move the pillow under her head, something she’s done for me in countless childhood memories. Pulling her blanket higher to keep her warm, my fingers accidentally brush her cheek, waking her.
“Oh, Rob, it’s good to see you,” she whispers.
“Hi mom,” I reply, not bothering to correct her. This is a good day for her, almost, never enough.
“Good. Can I get you anything? Water?”
“No, I’m fine.” She holds tight to my hands, too tight, as if scared to forget.
“Oh, Rob, it’s good to see you. How’s school?”
“… its all good,” I cry softly.