Memory Wing Notice

I got the call today- I didn’t want to hear.   The doctor has “ordered” Dorothy to the memory care wing.  The move everyone there is afraid of.   I received this call at 4:45 in the afternoon- from the nurse on staff.   It seems that mom has been “hovering” by the front door all day – just waiting on the opportunity to “bolt”.  And since safety is the number one priority, this move is the best one for mom- in their opinion.  I was told these were “doctors’ orders” and there is nothing I can do about it.  

My immediate thoughts were:

  1.  She can still dress, feed, and get to and for on her own.
    1. Dorothy only needs assistance- she does not need individual care
  2. Her medication is in the process of being changed- they say that her thyroid is not working, and this is causing added distress to her panic and anxiety attacks.
    1. Have they given her enough time to get her medication, right?  Is the thyroid medicine working?  Have they changed the anxiety medicine?
      1. No, no and no
      1. As of last Friday -they had a plan to keep her occupied during her sundowners’ episodes.  What has changed in 5 days?
  3. The entire staff has changed within the last 6 weeks- due to a buyout of the facility.
    1. All the old staff has either been fired or quit
    1. There are no familiar faces for mom to search for security or love
    1. No one knows Dorothy’s person to person day to day living history- only what they have to report on paper- medically. They haven’t been there long enough to see her cycle.
    1. The Covid 19 has everything shut down- as of this week you have to make an appointment to go see your loved one- and you have only one visit a week for one half hour.      
      1. Not that she remembers seeing you when you do go see her- but in the moment I assume she is glad I’m there.
  4. I understand that the health industry is totally overworked, underpaid and stressed out to the max- due to the current situation with the Pandemic. And I appreciate them.
  5. The night nurse calls me and tells me this information “we are moving your mom to memory care tomorrow”.   Why not the doctor? Why not the Facility Manager?
    1. Doctor’s orders there is nothing you can do about it? Really?  
    1. It’s for her own good.

My emotions run wild- I’m on my knees,- I’m freaking out-  Memory Care is for those who cannot fend for themselves- they need constant care- they are drugged up and sitting in a wheelchair or a couch- just sitting- lifeless, hollow, alone, in storage, waiting for God to call them home.  Tears run down my face as I try to control my voice and my emotion as I talk to a friend of mine who knows me well and knows in detail this journey, I am on with my mom. They understand that in my mind I’m Dorothy’s last hope for living in assistance- her last advocate-who is slowly losing all hope of fixing the situation.  They listen, they encourage, and they support.  I’m thankful for them. 

I call the “acting” manager- (since the buyout there has not been anyone really in charge. There has been no communication and I’m sure they are trying to figure it all out with the Covid still paralyzing all of us in one way or another).  She assures me this is for the best for moms’ safety- she tells me the story of mom wanting to “bolt” every time the door is opened.  (It’s Covid 19- the place is in lockdown why is the door opening?) This is the same person I spoke to last week and she had a “plan” for mom- to help with her anxiety.  I discuss my concerns and thoughts.  I understand their position- I do.  A few minutes later – the doctor calls- also talking about the “bolt” problem and Dorothy’s safety- and their safety record.   I get it.   I tell her that I also get that there has been a tremendous change in the lives of the assisted- so many things have changed, the people, the processes, the daily and weekly visitors, activities, entertainment- all of it.  But it seems that nothing has been added for them- I have not asked and there has been no communication from the new owners of what they are doing in this area- I know of nothing new they are giving- they are only taking. 

 And my mind keeps going back to the logic, with all these changes- mom needs more assistance- hence- assisted living.  To me it seems that she is not getting it and it will be easier for them to not have to deal with her and put her in lockdown.   For her safety.  I get it.  

I don’t like it, but I get it.  I don’t want to accept it- but I will have too.  I know that my brother and I have done all we can for mom.  She’s slipping farther into the unknown of Dementia- and it is hard to watch, hard to see someone who has always been so strong fall to a disease that has no cure.  It’s hard to accept that she will be going into memory care – even if I don’t want it for her- and she will not be coming out.  She’s gone- but she’s still here.  Hard to accept and understand how to move forward in this vortex that has been forced upon us. 

 I’m just going to sit here with mother nature playing a rainy night in Georgia and listen to Chris Stapleton’s “Broken Halos” over and over for a bit.  I’ll focus and reminisce about all the love, laughter and lessons I have received from Dorothy Lee.   My life has been good because she chose me to be her daughter.  I’m very proud- sad, but proud and I have no regrets.   I’ve done all I could do for her to this point- and I’ll continue to do what I can to help her- till the Good Lord calls her home.  

Love, Light, Peace & Love,

Cheryl Doreen   

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