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Moving MIL back home, what to do

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

We have a lot of angst about this. My MIL is in total control of her mental faculties and she knows what is going on and absolutely hates being at the nursing home. However, her body is failing and therein lies the problem. She wants to come home and honestlly, we would have her home except for the nursing care that she would need. I don't mind helping her but I will not lift her and I'm not going to give her a bath if she can't get into the tub. I am not a nurse and I have my own back issues.
In additon, they had told us she can't be left alone and so, I am still busy with my work and My husband works also. Our schedules are hectic, they change every day so its not like we can plan things too much in advance. I explained to her that we would have to hire nursing help and all of the above. And she is not happy with the answer.
My husband and I are talking about it and will probably look into hiring someone to come in and help. It is just such a worry for us. She needs the care they provide but mentally it is killing her. And us too. What to do.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 12/15/2012 9:30AM

    I worked as a nurse in a nursing home, and I can tell you that this is HER way of controling the family. Oh, I saw this over and over. YOU will be the one worn out if you give in and bring her back, trust me. Being in the nursing home is difficult for everyone, but when the person has health issues, it is certainly the best place to be. LOTS of the people who were in the nursing home were upbeat and happy, because they made the best of where they were. Your MIL needs to have time to adjust. I worked as a NIGHT nurse, so I know how much of the night time old people can need attention. They sleep during the day when YOU are working, and then they are up at night wanting attention. So, being in the nursing home, WE took care of that. Don't let this wear you out.

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EBURGITE 12/6/2012 1:59PM

    hugs and prayers. i know it's so hard to make a decision where you're sorta choosing what will make someone you love, or YOU, unhappy. hang in there.

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KASEYCOFF 12/6/2012 3:43AM

    In two different cases in our family - one in which the person was like your mother-in-law, in control of her mental faculties but failing physically, the other in which the person was in her 80s but terminally ill - we were able to use hospice. As one of the other commenters pointed out, they aren't as limited as they used to be, and they don't work only with end-stage patients. They don't necessarily have to be engaged full-time, either: they can work with you to find a schedule that fits both your lives and your mother-in-law's. They could take care of baths, for example, and you could arrange your appointments around when someone would be available to 'sit' with her so she's not on her own.

I like Jeannie's idea about checking with your church. When I lived in PA I worked with a local association who set up 'companions' for elderly people wanting to stay at home. They were usually frail, but together mentally, so I didn't do any kind of nursing work (my kids'd be the first to tell you I'm not a very good nurse, lol), just kept them company while their children or in one case grandchildren went out for a few hours. We played board games and talked and watched TV and just sort of visited - I enjoyed it, and I think they did, too.

As for hiring someone - well, it doesn't have to be top-qualified RNs for 24/7 care. Fortunately, she's not that ill, and your business is more flexible than 9-to-5 type office work, and your husband has a bit of flexibility (he's still part-time at the funeral home, right?) so while it's complicated, it might be doable.

Are your sons / daughters-in-law in the area? Not for nursing assistance, but to help fill in any time spans to keep her company and make sure she's not left alone with no way to summon help if needed?

It isn't easy, but where there's a will, there's a way. You're all in my thoughts and prayers, hon. Whichever way it works out, I'm sure it will be for the best, for you and for her.
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CARRAND 12/5/2012 9:15PM

    It's always a dilemma. My Dad lived with my sister for years, but it got to where he couldn't be alone all day, and my sister and her husband both worked. They tried home health care, but couldn't find anyone who was satisfactory. Finally my Dad went to a nursing home. He was unhappy at first, but is now getting along just fine. (I live too far away to be of much help, so the burden fell on my sister.) My Dad is 98, almost 99. He's pretty healthy, but needs a full time catheter and that requires nursing care. My Father-in-Law is also elderly and confused. Where he lives he was able to find reliable home care. It's expensive, but it's working out. I hope you can work things out for all concerned.

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LKWQUILTER 12/5/2012 9:11PM

    Carol, this is one time you have to do what has to be done--even if it means she has to stay in the nursing one. We had to do this with mama when she needed the medical care that we couldn't give her at home. Sending good vibes your way that things will work out. (((HUGS)))

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ANDI571 12/5/2012 7:05PM

    I know your MIL doesn't want to be in the nursing home, but unfortunately she just doesn't realize what it means being home with you. Sometimes we want something that just can't be done unless you can hire someone to come in and help. But again they aren't there 24/7. A nursing home is equipped with 24/7 staff. I know I have told you before, my daughter is a PTA in a nursing home, and she loves her patients. It's not perfect at either place I am afriad. Good luck on your decision. And always remember, Guilt is a wasted emotion.

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GINNABOOTS 12/5/2012 6:56PM

    My heart goes out to you & your family. We are dealing with the same problem with my dad. He is in a nursing home right now & wants to come home so bad. He weighs 300 lbs & is solid. We just can't lift him & he needs 24 hour care. He too has all of his mental faculties & hates being there. My mother is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's & still at home. So it it very difficult to see our loved ones suffer the effects of aging.


My dad qualified for Hospice when he was at home, you may want to check into that. Hospice isn't what it used to be, it doesn't mean that a person is at the end of his/her life. They can come in now when a person is sick with congestive heart failure, Alzheimer's, etc.

I am so sorry that you & your family are struggling with this, I wish you all the best and hope you come to a decision that will be what is best for your MIL and family. I know how conflicting it can be. It tugs at your heart.

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LJCANNON 12/5/2012 6:06PM

    emoticon I wish I were close enough to help!! That is exactly My Kind of Job!! Maybe check with your Church to see if there is someone like me who could help out, but would not be as expensive as an Agency?

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Good things happening!

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Well my oldest son who has been struggling to find decent work for more than a year, has gotten a job with a new restaurant as Kitchen Manager. This is what he loves to do and is good at. Hopefully the place will take off and be a destination location. My other son who was laid off in October, has now registered to go back to school to attain a teaching degree in N.C. He is really excited about the 4 political science classes he is registered for and will try and do some substitute teaching in between taking classes. And my oldest son's wife looks like she is going to b e offered a decent job so things are working out a bit and hopefully will continue on.
My MIL is working hard to get her strength back. We are going to take her to brunch on Sunday and then bring her home to pick out some clothes to take back for her to wear. I'm wondering how we will get a wheelchair with her in it into the house so we will see how it goes. This is kind of a test to see how she copes with going out and getting about. And how we will cope as well. Prayer works. Now I'm adding prayer for our country as we sure need a leader and now someone who is still in campaign mode, pitting us against each other.

  
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LKWQUILTER 12/1/2012 3:15PM

    So glad to hear the good news about your MIL. Will continue to pray that she continues to regain her strength and the outing is a positive experience. Also, great news about your sons. Financial problems affect everyone in the family. I have been praying about our leaders too--the campaign is over--now they ALL need to get to work and do something positive. If all our leaders had to deal with social security, medicare, and our salaries (not the cadillac benefits they get for life) maybe they would realize just what 99% of our country is dealing with. Oh, also if they had to obey the laws of the land like we do too. (((HUGS)))

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SANDYCRANE 12/1/2012 10:47AM

    Congratulations for your sons for working and going to school. Take care of your mother in law, as you will be able to access her health. My MIL refused to let anyone in her house and kept up in the dark about her health. She called me to take her to the hospital as she had pneumonia. She died about 2 months later. She could still been alive if she had not been so stubborn. I also worry about this country, but am thankful that the other side is not giving in. It always helps to look at the good side of things. Have a good day.


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HEAVEN IS FOR REAL

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yesterday, I took the book HEAVEN IS FOR REAL by Pastor Todd Burpo, to the nursing home and spent several hours reading the story to MIL and her roommate who is 100 years old! The book is a true story about a 4 year old boy who had a ruptured appendix and undiagnosed for 5 days. Transported to a new hospital and while in surgery, he actually died on the operating table and went to heaven. When asked about being in the hospital afterward, he told his parents that was where "the angels sang to me".
As I sat reading I kept glancing up at these two elderly ladies who were paying rapt attention to the story. They can't wait for me to come back again today and read some more!
I've read it before but it is more meaningful to me now that I am sharing. Yesterday while I was with MIL, our Pastor came in and I encouraged her to talk with him about the angels that she sees. She told him some astounding things and I was glad she could talk. What bothers me most is that she said she doesn't think she will go to heaven as she hasnt' been good enough. And her roommate has said similar things. Is this their generation talking? Not good enough to go to heaven? Our Pastor told her that all she had to do was believe and be forgiven for her sins and she would go. I joked with her that she would probably be one of his next sermons.
So I am working on the faith issue with her. There are some obstacles in the way and I need to figure out how to address them with her. I have never been much of a bible reader but I do treasure my hour with God each and every Sunday and I truly miss it when we don't go. So its a new day and new things to do. And look forward to.

  
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KASEYCOFF 11/28/2012 11:59AM

    Reading to her - and her roommate - is not only good for them - it's good for you, too. Wonderful choice of books, too, to engage their attention and get them interacting.
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LKWQUILTER 11/28/2012 11:38AM

    Continually praying for all of you Carol. (((HUGS)))

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EBURGITE 11/28/2012 11:28AM

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COOP9002 11/28/2012 10:36AM

    Wonderful time of ministry with those special folks. Thanks for continuing to share our message of hope.

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FOXYBABE0714 11/28/2012 9:22AM

  I love that book, it is one of my favorites. I am 28 years old and have often found myself saying the same thing to my husband, "I am not good enough to go to heaven". I think the reason why I feel this way is because when you hear about how wonderful heaven is, and you think back to all the things that you have regret doing or not doing in your life, you wonder how you could belong in such a wonderful place. I also think about the people I have known who have passed away, and when I think about the great things they did during their lifetime, I wonder if I died tomorrow, would I have done what God sent me to do? My husband always tells me not to be so hard on myself and that I have done great things too, we can't speak for God, and we must let him decide, but until our dying day, we must always be good and love one another (very wise he is!!).

Comment edited on: 11/28/2012 9:24:24 AM

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LJCANNON 11/28/2012 9:17AM

    emoticon As you share with your MIL your own Faith will grow. I do think many in their generation believed that they had to be "Good Enough" to get to Heaven. Maybe comparing God's Love for her to Her Love for her Children would help? Did her kids have to be "Good Enough" for her to Love Them? I am thinking NOT!
emoticon You, Your MIL, and her roommate will be in my Prayers.

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SANDYCRANE 11/28/2012 9:15AM

    Thank you for all the wonderful work you are doing at the nursing home. My mother was in a nursing home about 15 years ago with Alzheimer's. Anyway when I went to visit I was amazed at all the people that volunteered or that worked there. They all seemed like angels to me. After my mom died my sister got a job as an activity director at a nursing home, she did a lot of amazing things with the residents. My sister quilts also, I was admiring your work on your spark page. I am not much of a religious person but I would suggest that your pastor speaks to these ladies personally and pray with them to be forgiven of their sins. Keep up the good work and have a happy day.

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THE ROLLER COASTER WITH MIL

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I didn't expect it to happen so fast, her going downhill. We had one month with her living at home and actually enjoyed every minute. Even bathtime, then for the past month, she has been in the hospital twice and the nursing home the rest of the time. Her lungs keep filling up with fluid and her left leg and ankle swell. She retains fluid as her heart can not pump it out. We know it is a matter of time but how long, only God knows. She is increasingly more and more depressed and wants to come home. Everyday when we leave she asks if she is going home with us. We would love to bring her home but don't know how we could care for her. She requires breathing treatments with a steroid during the day. She is on continual oxygen. She can't stand and walk but for a few steps. And she is a big woman so not easy to lift. We would have to be with her constantly and my husband and I both still work and need to work as we are helping both our sons financially right now.
My youngest son lost his job about 6 weeks ago and is planning to return to college in January to pursue a degree where he can teach social studies and political science. He barely made it through university with a degree in English but it isn't good enough to teach. His wife makes good money where she works but you know it is not enough. My other son and his wife and both severely underemployed and we are paying their mortgage and other things to help out. And Christmas is coming as well. Obamacare has kicked in and both are at 30 hours per week at a paltry wage and not enough to get by on.
We pray earnestly for a change in circumstance for all of them.
Yesterday I went for a massage after leaving my MIL and I went to the bathroom and just sat and cried. It is so hard to know what to do and we are trying to think of things to keep her occupied. Today I am going to take an angel picture that she had hanging over her bed and hand it over her TV in her room instead of the non descript landscape that is currently there. I also have the book HEAVEN IS REAL about the 5 year old who was very sick, actually went to heaven and remembered it all. I am going to take it and read it to her. I hope she would like that. Thankfully, my husband and I are not wealthy but we do have resources to be able to help and my business continues on. Clients still call.
Funny thing, when there is a recession or bad economy, people turn to fixing up their own homes rather than building new ones. So the Lord is taking care of us in that way.
So that is where we are, just hanging on to each day and making the best of it.

  
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R-U-JELLEN 11/28/2012 9:28AM

    Praying for you and your family. It is so difficult when you seem to be hit from all sides--health, finances, family issues, I can empathise. Our family has been through similar situations (and all at the same time). Remember to take care of yourself.
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LKWQUILTER 11/27/2012 2:59PM

    Carol, I won't lie and say it will get better cause it probably won't. We went through that last year with daddy until he finally just gave up. Prayers going up for all of you. Just take one day at a time and try to take care of yourself. You know she would not want ya'll to get sick/down during this time if she really knew what was going on. ((((HUGS))))

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EBURGITE 11/27/2012 12:20PM

    so many people i know are going thru really challenging times, financially, physically and emotionally. all we can do is cling to God, encourage one another, and keep on....we gotta get up ONE MORE time than we fall down.
praying that our gracious Father will fill you with His love, and carry you in His mercy. emoticon

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FIFIFRIZZLE 11/27/2012 12:18PM

    What a hard time you are having.
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SEWINGMAMACDS 11/27/2012 11:51AM

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RUNNING-TURTLE 11/27/2012 8:35AM

    Aww, your story just broke my heart. It is so hard to take care of a loved one. I'm in a similar circumstance, but not as far down the road yet with my own father. He's almost always in and out of the hospital for something, and I always wonder if he is coming out or not. We all need to stay strong. God only gives us what we can handle. Just sometimes wish it was a lighter load. Wishing you luck, and lots of prayers.

Keep your head up high.

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MIL in hospital

Monday, November 19, 2012

Yesterday we had a call from the home at noon that the doctor advised them to send MIL to the emergency room. We went and got her and took her over, its just across the street and they admitted her. Within hours she had eliminatd more than 1000 ccs of fluid from her body. I think she was drowning in it, you could hear her wheezing from across the room. We think it is only a matter of time. She will have recovered from this episode but there will be another. It was only 3 weeks ago yesterday that we were in the same situation at the hospital. Another day.

4:00 p.m. Just left her at the hospital, not good. Can't be much longer.

  
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LKWQUILTER 11/22/2012 5:03PM

    Praying for all of you Carol and so know what you are going through. Just take one day at a time. (((HUGS)))

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JINLYNN 11/21/2012 2:06AM

    My heart goes out to you. It is not easy to care for an elderly relative. One part of you wants to keep them around as long as possible, and the other part wants their suffering to be over and for them to go home to be with the Lord.
You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
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MAHGRET 11/19/2012 2:30PM

    We went through similar issues with my mom, it is so hard to control.

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FIFIFRIZZLE 11/19/2012 11:45AM

    Thank goodness, your MIL did seem so very poorly. With the edema under control she will feel so much more comfortable.


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JAMARIGOLD 11/19/2012 11:24AM

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KASEYCOFF 11/19/2012 9:16AM

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WISLNDR 11/19/2012 7:58AM

    This must be a stressful time for you; my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

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