It 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.