Tuesday, April 02, 2013
When I was starting to comment on a friends page here yesterday I noticed a mutual friend had commented on her page and the word hospice jumped out at me. So yes, I read all the comment then. I found that these two friends on here and I shared a common experience. We had both been care givers too our parents.
I had been thinking a lot about my family anyway. Last month was Mom & Dad's anniversary and the 10th of April is my Mom's birthday. Dad's birthday is next month and the in June the anniversary of their deaths. My brother's illness has made me think a lot about our family too but this time of year I always seem to reflect back on family.
When it was obvious that it was getting difficult for my parents to care for their home they bought a double wide trailer and moved it onto our farm in Northern Missouri. They were able to stay there for 5 1/2 years. I cared for them in their own home as long as I could but Mom's health and her mobility were failing rapidly and my father had Alzheimer's. If it had just been one of them I might have been able to do it longer. Their doctor actually made things easier for me when he told Mom each time he saw me I looked more tired. He asked Mom what she & Dad were going to do when I ended up sick. He told her, "She is worn out!" He told her it was time to think about moving to a nursing home. Mom & Dad entered a nursing home in a small town 5 miles from us a few weeks later. DH stopped every day on his way to work and I went down almost every day to see them. We were blessed that the home where they were had a family atmosphere. The staff didn't just care for my parents, they loved them. There were lots of hugs and small gifts or flowers from someones garden would appear in their rooms. Mom loved to read and she was never lacking for books. We lost Dad 3 years before Mom. I called in hospice for him when I was advised it was time. The staff was very good. I really had no complaints and was happy with the care. All Dad's needs were met. When the time came for Mom to go on hospice I supposed I would use the same one. The director of nursing from the nursing home sat down with me to discuss doing this and asked if I had a preference. I said I guessed the one I had for Dad. The nurse ducked her head and then looked at me and said, "did you ever meet the hospice nurse, Nancy, that your mom's friend Grace had?" I said, "Oh, then you would recommend them?" With a twinkle in her eye and a big smile she said, "I can't recommend anyone. It has to be your choice." That is how I met the most wonderful caring group of people in the world. To borrow a phrase from a friend on here, they were "angels on earth!" They went way beyond the care my father received and I am still in touch with several of them.
I am blessed to have a lot of wonderful memories of my parents and growing up. My grandparents were pretty great too. This not meant to be a sad blog. The things I am looking back on are happy memories of times spent with my family.