When Mom’s Away, the Boys Will Build

torx-272866_640It seems like every time mom’s laid up in the hospital, my two brothers and I do something big for her. This time is no different. While Mom is in the rehab facility recovering from breaking her femur on a grape, we have a chance to go into Mom’s place to do some repairs and possible upgrades that otherwise she would not let us do. Instead, she would pay someone three times as much, if not more, to have them done.

Between the three of us, we have an engineer and electrician. We’re all of jacks of all trades, master of none. We should be able to do some damage.  Over the last few months, we have started to notice or hear Mom gripe about things in the house that she would like to do or she’s starting to hear something here and there. So we are taking upon ourselves to go in and take care of everything all at once. Before going into the rehab facility, Mom was carrying a load of depression with her. We’re hoping that when she comes home and see’s everything that it may help her fight her way through it. If not, a least she won’t be hearing things.

Our list of things that need to be replaced, repaired, dumped or upgraded include (but are not limited to):

  • Clean out fridge of all perishables, then clean fridge from top to bottom.
  • Clean under kitchen sink; “Find source of smell.”
  • Smell was from disposal leaking over time and soaking the wood underneath.  Previous tenant covered problem with a piece of plywood. Cut out water-soaked board (from leaking disposal) under kitchen sink and replace flooring and disposal.
  • Why we’re under the sink, pull out dishwasher and check to make sure nothing is leaking here and clean up in process.
  • Water all her plants.
  • Do through cleaning of entire house (to include under couch’s, chairs, bed, craft table, etc).
  • Do all wash, include bedding.
  • Find the problem with her shower, why’s it holding water. Found problem, need new shower.
  • Replace Mom’s shower (what’s needed in her mobile home is not a common size; special order need to find a manufacture.)
  • Replace dripping faucets in both bathrooms. Current ones are 45+ years old.
  • Replace toilet in Mom’s bathroom to oblong model. Current round one is wrong shape. (Sorry, Mom.)
  • Okay, so showers out and so is toilet. Well, might as well replace the linoleum flooring (which is also 45+ years old).
  • Mom has complained about her kitchen cabinets color for a few years. We even found out she purchased paint to handle the project “herself.” We’re taking off doors, drawer fronts, sanding them down and painting her kitchen cabinets.
  • Find 95-in. dual curtain rods and put up the drapes Mom purchased four months ago.
  • Clean out shed and move holiday items out of side room for her.
  • Depending on her leg we may need to rework the stairs up into her place. We put this on the “Possible Pending” list.
  • Put back the dining room, the 20 to 30 books Mom used to pull herself across the floor during her three-hour ordeal. Clean up wrappings from the paramedics and fire department.

As you can see, this is no short list of things that need to get done. What better time to tackle the list when she’s away and then surprise her when she gets back. All of us know she will be surprised at first, then she will be upset that we did it, which will lead into trying to make us feel bad and thanking us at the same time. But after what we kept running into when we looked under the surface, there was no way we could allow this to stay how it was.

We are about half-way through the process and Mom has her four-week check tomorrow, which should put her at about half-way through her rehab. Hopefully the doctor won’t say she can come home early! There are no cabinet doors in the kitchen, no toilet or shower in the master bedroom and organized tools all over the dining and living room.

Every caregiver has some sort of order among the chaos and there is always a plan. We’re hoping to reach ours before Mom comes home.

Avatar of Richard

About Richard

My name is Richard (@kreisr1), I am a Tri-Fecta caregiver, for my mother who has COPD among other health issues. I co-care for my brother in-law who has epilepsy and co-care with my wife's for myself, I deal with Chronic Back Pain.entire life and now after living alone, in a care facility and a group home setting we had to move him in with us to provide him with the care he needs.  Finally, with my wife who is also my co-caregiver I care for myself, I have had chronic pain (mid-low back) for 21-1/2 years thanks to a drunk driver.  I write my own blog, pickyourpain.org where I share my pain with humor, as I see thing, "Pain Without Humor is Just Painful."  I am involved with caregiving.com in several ways, as well as participating in several of the weekly caregiving.com blogs, I also am involved in their Twitter chats, I also host the following groups, SPOT (Stamp Procrastination Out Today), A Task A Day, The Men's Group, Healthy Caregiver and several others.  I am also the moderator for the Caregiving.com Quiz Show and have a seat on the bi-monthly Hot Topic's show. I'm here to not only improve Roberts life, the lives of those I touch on caregiving.com and pickyourpain.org but to find a way to improve my own live.

8 thoughts on “When Mom’s Away, the Boys Will Build

  1. Cathy Mitchell

    Wow. Wonderful work. Haven’t checked in much. Was gone and then super busy with my aunt and her dog got really ill. All are on the mend, I hope. Richard, I hope there are no surprise early homecomings in your future!

  2. Richard (kreisler)


    Thank you for taking the time to read this post and comment. That is our (my) one big worry is that she will get home early and there will not be a shower that she can walk into. The kitchen and toilet she can work around. I really just don’t want her coming home to complete disarray.

  3. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    What a great idea!!

    Does your mom have all the grab bars she needs in her bathroom? Just a thought–if you haven’t already added, it could be a good time to add grab bars by the toilet and in the shower.

  4. Richard (Kreisler)


    Thank you for reminding me, doing so much I totally forgot. Being it’s a mobile home we are having to remove her bathroom walls, install plywood then put the walls back up. Her walls are so thin there was nothing for the garb bars to grip into. We are installing four bars total. (1) in the guest bathroom and a total of three in the master (by toilet, in shower, to assist out of shower). I hope that’s everything.

    Thanks Denise for reading and commenting to my blog posts. I appreciate any and all comments. Have a great day.

    -Richard (kreisler)

  5. Avatar of EllysGdaughterEllysGdaughter

    Dear Richard, Do you and your brothers hire out? Just kidding, you guys are such a blessing to your mom. Just the fact that you guys listened and remembered the things your mom talked about, saw, smelled or experienced that needed to be taken care of amazing. I say that not just because you remembered, but in the midst of caregiving and with crisis, sometimes it is easy to forget about those things that can be done to make life easier. I send your virtual cookies and homemade ice cream for the Grand Opening of Mom’s remodel!

  6. Richard (Kreisler)


    Thank you for the kind words. Everything we’re doing is for mom’s safety, well living and hopefully will help pull her out of her funk. Also, if the price is right, we do hire out. Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.

  7. Avatar of PegiPegi

    You guys are just the best! How fortunate your mother is to have three son’s who not only pay attention when she talks, but do what they can to make her life easier. What a wonderful surprise for her home coming! Hope her rehab is going smoothly. God Bless her and her terrific sons. My house next? :)

  8. Richard (Kreisler)


    Thanks for asking about mom, her recovery is going great in fact we have the 1 month recovery date follow up appointment with the surgeon today in 1 1/2 hours. I’ll keep you all informed. Thanks Pegi, your amazing


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