Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Restoring Home for a Mother Needing Care Series: This Column Deals with the Conflicts We Find Ourselves Facing in Daily Life. the Monitor Invites Readers to Comment, Suggest Solutions, and Submit Their Own Accounts of Moral Dilmmas

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Restoring Home for a Mother Needing Care Series: This Column Deals with the Conflicts We Find Ourselves Facing in Daily Life. the Monitor Invites Readers to Comment, Suggest Solutions, and Submit Their Own Accounts of Moral Dilmmas

Article excerpt

My mother and I have just celebrated an anniversary. Four years ago, when I returned from abroad, I took her out of the nursing home in which she had been living and brought her back home, to care for her here.

The decision to leave Mom in the care of professionals or take on that responsibility myself was not taken lightly. Many - from social workers to friends and even relatives - were skeptical, some hostile. It will be impossible, they intoned, for you to give her the same quality of care she got "in there." It will be too much work, they said. Her condition will deteriorate, I was told.

The naysayers' warnings did register, but I understood my mother's best interests another way. Some older people adjust to nursing- home life; but my mother, after 16 months, never had. She came out of her room for meals and went right back in. She didn't want to socialize with the other residents. And she greatly resented the constant flow of strangers who came and went all day long to check on her, to give her medication, to clean. Mom had a house big enough to accommodate us comfortably. And she desperately wanted to get back into it. Despite dementia, during those 16 months in the nursing home she rarely forgot that she wasn't at home. Sometimes she would take the pictures off the walls of her room, other times she would empty the contents of the wardrobe and dresser onto the bed in one grand heap that said: Get me out of here. So, with the doctor's permission, I took my mother home. She adjusted more quickly than I. Being her live-in caregiver has required patience, attention to detail, and the most precious commodity of all, time. From the moment she wakes up until she's back in bed at night, there are few details in Mom's life in which I am not involved. This has meant sacrificing my ability to move spontaneously - from driving across town to take in a movie, to flying across the country to visit a friend. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.