About Me

My photo
melting but not down

Friday, 11 September 2009

crash landing

So much has happened in the last 36 hours, I struggle to remember everything. I finally got in touch with the social worker on Thursday afternoon and arranged for us to meet at mum's on Friday morning to try to persuade her to go into residential care.

Thursday night. I went round to mum's after work, she had phoned me a few times to check I was coming. It didn't take her long to have a go at me and tell me to leave. I'd only been home a short while before the phone rang - the neighbourhood watch woman had been asked by mum's 86 year old neighbour to intervene because mum's constant phoning and visiting her to vent all her anxieties was getting her down. NWW was very forceful, I felt on the defensive as she went through all the concerns the neighbours had about mum and that she shouldn't be left alone. I explained about mum's care package and that I didn't feel it would be helpful if I went over given mum's feelings about me at that point. NWW said she'd ring Care Link and ask them to send someone to sit with mum.

NWW rang back, CL didn't provide that kind of service (I knew that). I went to mum's with an overnight bag. NWW was still there. Bloody do-gooders. lol. Before leaving she said CL had phoned the on-call doctor. A doctor came out and was very forthright with mum, told her if she stayed at home and went on as she was, she would starve herself to death. He urged her to consider the benefits of a nursing home. Mum was not impressed, more fuel for the 'plot to shove (her) in a home' fire. He diagnosed a mild water infection and gave me a prescription for antibiotics. Mum kept asking me "why are you doing this to me?" Finally got to bed around midnight. Heard mum get up in the early hours for the toilet but otherwise uneventful. I was up about 6.30, mum a little later.

(I forgot, somewhere along the way, a doctor from mum's GP's surgery phoned and decided he didn't need to come out there and then but would ask mum's doctor to visit her on Friday morning.)

The day started off quite amicably, I even washed mum's hair. Then the social worker and her colleague arrived. I took the opportunity to dash to the chemist for the antibiotics and when I returned mum was in full furious flow. They'd already broached the care home issue. No matter how hard I tried to explain why people were concerned about her and why a home would be good for her, she took it as proof of my betrayal and utter failure as a daughter. I was close to tears. As the social worker wanted to wait for the GP, I left them with mum for half an hour while I took a break and did some shopping.

I missed the doctor. She had left a prescription for the anxiolytic Lorazepam (telling mum they were vitamins), the hope being that in a few days time, a calmer mum might look more favourably on residential care. I phoned her, as requested, and she told me that if it didn't pan out that way, mum would have to be sectioned, for her own safety. Depressing thought.

The afternoon passed fairly peacefully, thanks to the Lorazepam. I explained to mum about not bothering her neighbour. The carer came and made her some tea, most of which ended up in the bin. I gave mum her evening medication including the second Lorazepam and, as she seemed quite settled and the carer would be returning in a few hours, took my leave just before 6pm, promising to return on Saturday. I did feel a little uneasy, in case the medication made her drowsy and unsteady and she fell going to the toilet or something but I was so weary and just wanted to go home.

I had just relayed the above events to Mr Lily when I remembered I'd left my mobile phone in the car. Worried someone might break in and steal it, I went to retrieve it. There was a phone message timed 6.44 pm. From Care Link. Mum had gone outside, fallen and hit her head. An ambulance was on its way. (She had fallen over the step between her and her neighbour's drive.)

Mum now has a new shiner under her left eye to match the old one under the right. Also a bump on the left temple underneath a large section of red highlights in her white hair and numerous grazes in other places. She was obnoxious to me when I arrived in A&E but eventually mellowed. The doctor did not think she had broken any bones. He agreed that she was not safe to live alone and should be in care. She has been admitted to hospital and will be in for at least a few days, during which time I'm hoping we can finally arrange for her to get the support she needs.


Emily said...

I hate to say this, but she's not in a position to be making decisions for herself. She has to go into care. (I'm not sure what being "sectioned" is, but if it's being forced into residential care, well, I don't see that you've got a choice.)

She isn't going to like you right now, no matter what you do. Everything you try will be "wrong". You've gone way beyond the call of duty or love to help her, short of moving in there, and don't you dare consider that! You'd have to sleep sometime, which would be all the time she needed to hurt herself. And she'd still call you names.

She'll be mad for a time. You can't help that. But if the home is a decent one, she should settle down.

My poor sister is facing this with her mother-in-law, who is not dotty like your mom, but so used to being self-sufficient (at 88) that she refuses the home aides & the walker & everything, resulting in more falls, more malnutrition, etc. Because she's not dotty, she sees that the residential care will probably be necessary...but I'll bet she's cried about it. Not easy. Your poor mom is terrified because she's so confused; it's that much harder on her.

There's just no way to make it easy, I don't think.

Clippy Mat said...

That's unbelievable. You must be exhausted. I can't imagine how you've coped with all of it. :-)

Annie said...

Oh, Lily. That's all I can say right now. Peace to you and Mum.

Lily said...

Thank you so much to all of you for your unfailing support, it really is a comfort. I've put a link into the post to explain what being sectioned means.

rilera said...

Lily, I second what Emily said. It's time. She's going to go kicking and screaming but for her safety and your sanity she has got to go. I'm sending hugs your way.