My mum had an afternoon at her home with the Occupational Therapists and me of course before leaving hospital. Brought home in a wheelchair by ambulance and taken back by the same mode of transport.
My mother’s dog was really pleased to see her, which was heart warming. I had moved rugs out of her sitting room and pushed the furniture back against the walls, to give her more room to navigate her zimmer. She noticed of course and it didn’t go down well. It was her house after all I had no right be moving her furniture.
She had a little ‘play’ on the stairlift. I don’t think she knew what to make of it. She refused to do anything in the kitchen with the Occupational Therapists, as she continued to do during their sessions in hospital. They still provided us with stools for her to sit on in the kitchen near work surfaces, to encourage her to boil a kettle or make a bit of toast, but she refused to try and never prepared food for herself again.
When she did come out of hospital, we were provided with the assistance of Leonard Cheshire Carers for a few weeks. They were coming in assist with the morning routine, washing, dressing and to give my mother breakfast, to cook her lunch, to cook her dinner and to assist with the bedtime routine, but it wasn’t enough.
My mother had a few falls trying to negotiate her zimmer from her bedside to the loo during the night, the first time she fell, she was in her own and was lying on the floor for at least 4 hours before Jane came in that morning. After that I installed a night time carer and the second time she fell and hit her head the corner of a wall, when a night time carer was in situ. Black and blue she was on both occasions when I had to fly over and bail her out of A&E. When she hit her head, the whole of one side of her head was black, but she had a scan and amazingly there was no damage.
We discussed a nursing home, residential home, but she resisted. So I organised 24 hour a day care, but something had to give as the care bills escalated out of control and the bank refused to lend any more. So I had no option other than to put my mother’s house on the market. I was looking a bungalows, but knew we would still be in the same situation. Then we had a bit of luck. The house sold in four days – financially we would have been up the creek without a paddle had it not. A small 2 bedroomed cottage came on the market in the grounds of a nursing home and the figures worked. So it was a compromise and my mother moved at the end of September 2013.
I tried to arrange ground floor hotel accommodation for my mother and her carer the night before the move as the stairlift had to be removed at 8.00a.m. on the morning of the move to allow the furniture removers to do their job. I couldn’t arrange an overnight stay at a hotel, so my mum managed to get up early and went to a friend’s house for the day. It was upsetting to see her leave her cottage and her great neighbours. She was visibly upset, which started me off and I started smoking for the first time in 25 years. Fortunately I managed to kick the habit by early afternoon as there was no time to do anything but clean and organise my mother’s new abode.
It was evident when we arrived at my mother’s new home that we had bought about half a truckload of stuff that wasn’t going to fit in. I wouldn’t have managed without Jane who is not only long suffering, but never complains. She just gets on with the job in hand. We were both flat out all afternoon and long after the incredibly patient removal men had gone. We had them moving furniture around for us, to see where it would best fit, or not, whilst working out whether or not it was another piece for the auction rooms.
Sorting out my Mother’s bedroom was our main priority and by the time we had done that and created places for 3 people to sit, my other addiction kicked in, it was time for my nicely chilled Pinot Grigio.
It was September 2013, some 20 months after that cold, dark night in January 2012 when my mother, was finally diagnosed as having had a stroke, one week after it had actually happened.
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