So I get a call yesterday and my 82 year old Dad wants to bring my 81 year old Mom home from the long term care facility she has been in for the past year since she had her stroke. This to me is a crazy idea, not because I’m the one who would have to find, interview and do the payroll for the multiple caregivers that this would require. I would be more than happy to do that if I thought it was the right solution but clearly I don’t.
You are wondering? Everyone know’s care facility’s are steril and cold environments my Mom would be better off at home, right? Well I don’t agree, for several reasons:
First of all my Dad couldn’t cope with her mood swings and paranoid behavior caused from early stage dementia even before she had the stoke now add in her limited mobility from the stroke and caring for her now requires someone to help her go to the bathroom, bath, walk etc… Can my Dad do the night shift, get up and help her to the bathroom? This is unclear to me, he is 82 after all and not in very good shape? Well not by my fitness standards which would require him to go for a walk once a day at a minimum.
Second, my Dad has finally got a life outside of the house with my Mom’s dementia she wouldn’t leave the house or interact with other people. Now he has joined a singing group, is volunteering at the local community center and meeting his neighbors. Doesn’t he deserve a life too? He’s put his on hold caring for my mom fo so long, I really feel that its his turn now.
Third and final reason why I don’t think my Mom should move back home is that even thought she doesn’t like the care facility she is in, its good for her. She get lots of social interaction with the other patients in a safe familiar environment thus its a much more stimulating and interesting world she is living in now even if its not as comfortable and nice as her home.
No one has the perfect solution but what I did suggest was that my Dad take my Mom home for a Saturday sleepover to start. The girl who clean’s their home and is a qualified caregiver and has weekends off and would love the extra money and work. If one night works try two etc.. this way they can all get a feel for how feasible it is to have Mom home before he brings her home to live.
Its not clear to me if he will take my suggestion, he is lonely and missed her terribly but I will keep you updated on what worked and didn’t through this blog.