My husband and I visited today and found that hospice delivered a wheelchair and a commode. Mom was sleeping in the living room rocking chair she sees as her own.
Although I know what hospice does, I wasn’t sure how the transition to hospice worked within the ALF. While I left my husband with Mom, I took a walk out to see the nurse to ask. Mary was on duty again and very helpful. Initially, she explained, Mom would be encouraged to use the wheelchair. They really would like her in it with her feet up but they don’t want to upset her.
I thought it might help if I encouraged Mom and Mary said it would be very helpful. Thank goodness my husband was there! He put the leg supports on for me and adjusted them for Mom once I got her in the chair.
With Mom on her new mobile throne, we spent the next hour taking her for a ride around the facility. She liked it and especially her chauffer. Steve’s a good driver! J
|Steve chauffeured her in 2010 and she enjoyed it again today.|
During our walk, we stopped by to see Mary so I could ensure we had the wheelchair leg supports set properly. While there, Mom’s caregiver this afternoon, Megan, told me that they had been trying to encourage Mom to use the chair but she would refuse and start walking. They followed her with the wheelchair and she would finally sit down in it when she couldn’t walk any more. She would then tell Megan, “Oh that feels so good!” Unfortunately, she would soon forget, stand up and try to walk away from it. It speaks to their concern for her but it’s really comical to envision them following Mom with the chair hoping she will sit!
I spent some time explaining to Mom that it was her new chair and that we really wanted her to keep her feet up. She was so cute. She looked at me and said, “I’ll have to learn that.” That’s the problem with dementia and Alzheimer’s. At a moment in time, they can say yes, but just a moment later it has left their mind. They literally live in the moment.
I know how much Mom needs to use the wheelchair. She has fallen twice in the last few days because her feet literally cannot hold her up. She is dragging one leg so badly that the sole of her fairly new slipper already has a hole in it. I have had to lift her from her chair, her bed, the toilet. I can get her to her feet and she can stand but her steps are difficult, more difficult than ever.
As we were leaving, Mom had forgotten and was trying to figure out how to stand up. I explained again that it was her new chair and why she needed it and Megan took over to keep her occupied. I checked in after dinner and Mary said that Mom was still in the chair and doing fine. I know there will be ups and downs but I pray God will watch over her as she “learns” this new habit.