We are back on home territory and I'm attempting to squeeze back into my blogging boots. What a trip. Long story short, during the final 10 days of our time at my mom's, we moved my mother into assisted living. Unbeknown to us, that is what her aged care social worker had expected us to achieve during our time home, although of course, she didn't assume the responsibility of letting us know this ahead of time so we could prepare. I'd been under the impression that it was Mom's decision to make, not mine. Instead the social worker chose to go the 'threatening' phone call route.
I just happened to casually mention to the visiting nurse that Mom wasn't wanting to move into aged care yet. 10 minutes later we get 'the call'. The conversation opened with this,
"We can no longer provide any of our services to your mother. I will be ceasing them all as of today. Your mother will no longer receive a weekly nurse, a senior companion or the lifeline facility. I just wanted to let you know that because your mother will not be moving into assisted living, we can no longer help her as we feel she is unsafe in her home. We've already extending our services longer than we'd planned because we knew you were coming. But since you've failed in making this change for your mother we can no longer provide these services."
"I'm sorry, what?"
Telepathy doesn't work very well for me. I'm just not tuned into that channel apparently. Suppose I hadn't made that comment?
There is more to that conversation. Indeed. In the end, I had the social worker come over to the house. She can't get off easy by just relaying this crap over the phone. Face to face please. Thank you.
As one can imagine, it was a challenge and a half. Put together one rambunctious almost 5 year old who needed much more outdoor time than was possible to give, with one memory impaired octogenarian and you've got yourself an enormous pocketful of challenges, a managerial minefield.
"Grandma didn't remember telling you that story, Bub." Shoulder pat.
"Yes, I know you've heard it before, me too, but Grandma doesn't recall that, plus she likes telling it. It brings her happiness. It's kind of fun to hear it again too, isn't it?" Hopeful look.
"Yes, I understand you don't like to be told things over and over again but try to relax about this. We are here to help Grandma. Let's make sure that Grandma is happy." Another hopeful look.
"Well, I'm sorry if I sound bossy. I'm just trying to explain things from Grandma's point of view." Sigh.......
"Look, I know you don't like bossy but I need your help. I need your cooperation and it would be great if we could all just try to remain cheerful." Grumble grumble........
And those were the more promising exchanges. There were some truly awful scenes of intense behaviour that I'm not sure I can even put to words. Sometimes my chest would hurt from the stress of it all.
But in the end, Grandma now lives in lovely accommodation which I think she will like in time. I sensed a bit of 'post performance let down' - what us former dancers might feel after a final performance that you worked 9 months on to then perform only 5 times - but I am hopeful that the staff will help her become involved. When I called yesterday, she'd had a busy day of going to a memorial service at the battleship memorial and then to the church bazaar so it sounds like she's getting out and about and had a great day. That is my greatest fear - that she will just sit in her little apartment and feel abandoned.
I worked hard to do her apartment up cute. It's something I enjoy - especially with downsizing. It was fun to try to figure out what to bring. She has most of her carnival glass there (I brought home to OZ 1 candy dish....), and other lovely treasures. I figured she'd want her treasures. I would. It might be a little over stuffed with treasures but not too bad. She mentioned that she wanted her sewing machine so I will have to send an email to my uncle to see if he can get her to the house to get it.
I managed to bring home a good portion of vintage scraps, half the wool fabric, some large skeins of knitting wool (she used to machine knit) and a couple of unfinished quilts. I brought few breakables home as I just didn't feel confident about their safety. I guess that will be for another trip. I'll probably go back in about 6 months time to help clear the house. Final decisions and all.
Sans the 5 year old though. I know I'll miss him, and so will Grandma, rascally fellow as he is, but my attention will need to be focused in a different direction for a change.