The Home Health Aide (HHA) hired to spend an hour with Mom every morning helping her shower, dress and get ready for the day, knocked and banged on her door yesterday morning, but Mother couldn't find the door. Luckily the front desk had a spare key. The HHA got inside just in time, as Mother was about to brush her teeth with an analgesic cream that bears a poison warning on the tube. The shower was running, the bathroom faucet was running, and Mom couldn't figure out how to turn them off. She did manage to close the plug on the sink, so water was about to spill over and flood the bathroom.
Susie the Care Manager decided when she heard all this that Mother is in need of 24/7 care. And she's right, my sister and I were just deluding ourselves that she could be left alone 23 hours a day. Judy's now busy looking for a private room in a nursing home, hopefully one that will offer a modicum of space and excellent care for less than $5K a month. She also has to make sure that MedicAid will kick in when Mother's savings have been wiped out.
She will also be stuck with the moving, getting rid of most of Mother's possessions and somehow convincing Mother that she'll be happy with the new arrangement.
Should I have extended my stay until I was sure she'd be OK with just the HHA? Was my whole trip wasted because we were pursuing the wrong course?
On the drive home from Tucson, the Capt and I talked about the pros and cons of offering to bring Mom to Mexico. The pros: There's a house available a few yards from our door that we could have for $500 a month, and we could probably hire excellent live-in care for $1K a month, or a real nurse for $2K. After years of looking after her, my sister would finally get a break. The cons: if she outlived me, she'd be better off in the US. She has a fear of people of other races, and has no Spanish. And my sister would probably oppose the plan, as she considers me a lifelong flake (with some justification, I guess). And the biggest obstacle, to be honest, is that I'm ambivalent about the whole idea.
"Give me ambivalence, or give me something else."The Capt.