This past Thursday marked one month in the new digs. I guess not having a regular schedule has loosened the calendar’s hold on me, although I do have to keep track of my daddysitting dates — like tomorrow. I’m not a really big one for keeping track of these “anniversary” kinds of things, though.
I’m relieved to say that Mom has begun investigating “the other kind” of assisted living facilities. When residents require some assistance with their activities of daily living (washing, dressing, eating, mobility), but are otherwise alert and aware, this falls under the “usual” kind of “assisted living.” where assistance is readily available, the residents require some supervision and monitoring, and medical personnel are on hand to administer medications and monitor residents’ health closely. When residents are incapable of caring for themselves, as my dad is, this usually entails nursing home placement. However, there are people who provide care in their homes, usually for anywhere from two to ten people. This type of situation is usually better than a nursing home in that there is a higher caregiver to resident ratio than in a nursing home and consequently the residents receive a better level of care. Typically, in a nursing home situation, a family member usually spends a great deal of time providing care for their loved one that the nursing home personnel simply don’t have time to provide because there are so many patients to care for. Their only selling features are that they have all the equipment and facilities like beds, lifts, wheelchair accessible bathing facilities, etc., and that there are nurses on hand who can summon doctors and ambulances if necessary. In the smaller “assisted living” facilities that mom is looking at, the slack is taken up by the assisted living personnel because they don’t have so many residents to care for at a time. Some of these places even handle laundry other than sheets and towels.
I think as soon as she finds one that she likes who will take a resident with an ostomy (my dad has a colostomy), that’s where my dad is going. Fortunately, I think she has realized that caring for my dad is becoming too much for her (actually, it already has). If the current situation were to go on for much longer, her health would be in serious jeopardy, and I think this has been brought home to her recently with his keeping her awake most nights so that she is not getting much sleep and his gradually declining ability to walk the required distances without collapsing. When he goes to a care facility, she will be able to get some sleep during the night, which will be the greatest benefit to her. She will not be restricting her social engagements any longer, and will be able to go out whenever she pleases without worring about who is looking after him. This is also an important benefit to her, as she needs the society of her friends and acquaintances and the social interaction they provide. This will be another significant burden lifted from her. She will, of course, be looking in on him daily and probably spending several hours a day with him, but her time will no longer be consumed by his care. I see this as a significant step in the “letting go” process that will help prepare her for his passing.
*Squeamish Warning: Pictures of a sutured wound to follow.*
Now that mom is taking this step, I’ve begun thinking about what this is going to mean for me. One thing, for the last couple of years, I’ve been unwilling to take a part time job where I would be required to keep a schedule because I want to keep my schedule open so that I can go stay with my dad with little to no advanced warning, whenever she needs me to. With him in care, I will no longer need to be doing this, which means I can look for a part time job where I will have to keep to a schedule, which I would have to be able to do in order to go back to medical transcription again, where I can make better money than I can at these “general” transcription jobs. What’s not to like about making more money in less time, even if it means the time commitment of keeping to a schedule?
My wrist seems to be bruising a little now, which is not surprising. The wound still looks clean and is not unduly red. At the top and bottom of the wound, there are areas that seem a little puffy, but it’s hard to tell whether the “puffy” is due to swelling or fluid collection, or whether it is just due to the way she sutured it. The wound is otherwise dry and there is no sign of drainage, so I’m not worried. I’m sure things will “settle down” once the sutures are removed. I do notice the sutures pulling when I move my wrist in certain directions. It looks to me like there is a certain amount of “puckering” that is due to how she sutured the wound, and that once the sutures are removed, that will take some of the tension off the skin and allow it to flatten out.
It’s still tender, understandably, but I’m not as protective of it as I have been. I have an appointment on 06-30-2014 to have the sutures out. That is a week from this Monday.