I was very upset Tuesday morning after a Monday evening call from my sister and father. They found Mom terrified that she had been abandoned. They helped address that misunderstanding, but it's still hard. Mom's ongoing attitude and apparent cognitive gaps in understanding worry me. My sister is wrangling minister visits in hope of some emotional therapy. We continue to try and find a trained therapist.
Seeing Mom last night was a little reassuring -- more to see how little improvements have been made in the space than to see any change with her. But she was lovely and kind in thanking me for the help and problem solving i was attempting.
My regrets for not passing on news of how Mom is doing sooner. It's taken us some time to get used to the location and to come to terms with how unhappy Mom is to be there. We are still trying to find the right contacts for a number of our questions and to get her schedule of therapy. We do know she is well fed and that she is getting physical, speech, and occupational therapy. Her room has a lovely south west view of the trees, the sunset, and a bird feeder. We also have confirmation from nursing friends that The Oaks is considered a well run facility.
From the same friends we understand that folks in nursing homes for rehabilitation can become distressed by comparing themselves with the elderly or other more debilitated patients. We think that is a significant factor for Mom. Also, the care staff are more used to different disabilities. They do not think of the physical difficulty of opening and removing lids or ensuring items are in reach as we would like.
We're printing up a coil bound journal for her every two weeks. The binding is important, because it's hard for her to write or read bound books one-handed. We're able to provide a calendar, room to write, and tips about stroke recovery, prayers and scripture, and advice for wellness and goal setting. Binding everything up helps "de-clutter" as Mom wants her room tidy: other messages get stashed away. In her unhappiness with the place, she does not like have much brought in.
If you would like to help by sending spiritual and motivational content for the journal please do. I think she would be delighted if she could read how you, specifically, met challenging goals or overcame frustration and doubt. Your own words will be more meaningful than, perhaps, the instructions that you followed.
Finally, Mom is very appreciative of the cards that have been sent, the gifts of flowers and food, and the visits. She has made comments indicating she knows she should be sending all of you thank you notes. Some gifts arrived that Mom has no memory of who was so kind to bring them -- she does seem to still have some short term memory challenges. Please know she is appreciates your gifts and visits over the past month.
Wifi isn't up to streaming and requires frequent re-logging in:
Please reinforce that she will go home when her ankle is healed and she is no longer at risk of falling like that again.
If you want to turn down the TV, there is a little up and down with volume under the screen. Don't turn the box under the TV off. Mom is a little anxious about "screwing up" the TV so she's more comfortable with reducing volume than turning it off.
Check to see if the tote bag is within reach: we have tried hanging it on the lever underneath her side table. Check to see if it contains the spiral bound journal and the wooden box*. We want to get her hair brush in it, too. If those items have been "put up" please put them back in the bag if she will let you. The wooden box has crayons, a labyrinth model, pencil, and pen. She seems to be able to slide it open and shut. It may be helpful to make sure she has something to write with.
She seems to forget she can control the bed (perhaps because the control is on her right side) or call the nurses: encouragement to use those controls will help her gain control over her environment.