Mother has been at Athens Heritage Nursing Home for a week now. Thank goodness her Hospice nurse, Linda, still oversees her care—she is the one constant in these last few weeks of change. Not being given information and not knowing whom to ask (or in some cases, even WHAT to ask!) was so frustrating. I have a “care planning” meeting tomorrow with the Director of Nursing. Linda will be there, and I have asked the chief dietician to come as well. With her diminished capacities, enjoying food is one of the few options Mother has.
She is weak and unable to stand or walk, but is gradually sitting for longer periods on the side of her bed, and can use the bathroom as long as she has help getting there. Saturday I took her and the dogs (!) for a tour of the facility in a “jerry chair”—one of those recliners on wheels. We met several of the residents and Mother chatted briefly and happily with them. There are all kinds of activities scheduled all day long which I think she would really enjoy if she can gain the strength to sit in a wheelchair.
The fact is, her heart is failing and fluid is building in her body. Lasix (furosemide, a diuretic) can help only so much. She is not in pain–yet. She is lucid for the about first half hour of my visits, but after helping her with her meal she is ready for a nap. She doesn’t remember that I am there daily, though she sometimes remembers what I brought her (salad, watermelon, fresh peaches). She can however, identify the dogs by the feel of their coats!
I do not know if she will make it to her 93d birthday on July 19, but I am planning a small party for her regardless of the date. If it has to be this weekend, I’ll just “cut a week out of the calendar” and pretend.