I can’t begin to write about all that has happened this past week. From Tuesday to Saturday I have been in Phenix City, Alabama helping my soon to be 93 year old grandmother and 73 year old dad. Here’s a quick run down.
Most of us have experienced what it’s like to go into a nursing home. Some of them are difficult places to go into. Usually the first thing we notice is the smell of urine. Then there are people either wandering the hall talking out of their mind… sometimes they are just sitting in their wheel chair. Then as we’ve walked through the halls we have looked into rooms and seen people just laying there asleep or possibly tied to their bed, eyes open, looking like an elderly child being punished for something they’ve done.
For years dad was adamant he would not, and could not, put his mother in a nursing home. He had been in them and they were horrible places for anyone to have to live. For much longer than my dad’s adversity to nursing homes, my grandmother said she didn’t want to go to such a place for the same reasons my dad didn’t like them.
But then things change…
My grandmother is under hospice care (Which usually means a person has less than six months to live). Her health has dwindled so that she has moments of mental clarity followed immediately by mental confusion and agitation. She weighs about 75 pounds and her diet consists of boost and a few bites of food that she has difficulty swallowing. She cannot walk and sometimes sleeps for 18 hours a day. She requires constant care.
My dad’s health has been steadily declining over the last few years too. He has been diagnosed with neuropathy in his feet that has made him almost incapable of walking. He has been falling a lot recently as a result. He also has other problems that are contributing to a potentially critical health situation. Yet he has been trying to care for his mother.
My “Grana” (As we call her) has been living with my dad for about the last 7 or so years. Last week Dad’s ability to care for Grana came to a head. Events happened that caused him to see that he had no choice but to put her in a nursing home. That’s where I come in.
Through a series of events, God worked so that as of this past Friday my dad was in the hosptial getting care for his problems and issues. Grana was in the same hospital having her health evaluated and receiving care. AND Grana was accepted to Parkwood Healthcare Facility.
I visited Parkwood and found it to be the best nursing home I’ve ever encountered (And I’ve been in a lot of them over the years). The first thing I noticed was that it smelled clean. The Administrator (Teri Roop) knew every resident by name… the residents know her and smiled when they saw her. I don’t have time to give you all the scoop, but I can tell you this… the peace of mind I have about Grana being there is a tremendous blessing. My dad and I will not have to worry if she is in the kind of home that is in our nightmares… because she will be taken care of. The picture above is the place where (God willing) my Grana will be beginning Monday.
I have more to write about all this, but suffice it to say that God is good… God answers prayer… and He does it in powerful, unexpected ways.
Are you read to make difficult decisions for your family? Have you had to make difficult decisions? Do you realize that one day people will have to make similar decisions for and about you? That’s what I will be writing about next (God willing).
For the last twenty years i have spent a lot of time in and out of nursing homes in the state of Alabama because of the line of work i am in. I have made many friends in that industry and have learned that for the most part we are very fortunate in that we have some very compasionate and caring people in that industry. My preception use to be like most peoples , in that they are all dirty , smelly , places of isolation. I know it is very trying when you are faced with making a decision to place a loved one in a nursing home but sometimes its the best thing to do. I was a caregiver for my father for several years before his death and often wondered if he would not have been happier in a nursing home. I know this is your grandmother and you want the best for her so if you and your Dad start to feel guilty about putting her in this home just remember that these people will work to provide her with the best quality of life possible along with love and compassion. The love and compassion that you and your Dad show her when you visit will just be icing on the cake.
Thank you for you kind words of encouragement and help. Actually it was not a difficult decision for me to make, but it has been for my dad because he did have that old view of nursing homes. The difficult thing for me is being 5 hours away from both of them. The nursing home my grandmother will be in is top quality and I feel very comfortable with her being there. Plus, I’m sure God will take care of her!
Again, thank you!