The Move

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The Move

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suitcase-468445_640It's been a whirlwind of events and I have to take the time to catch up!

On Veteran's Day, we moved Elly to senior living. The whole process involved family drama with feelings of disrespect directed at AH and me. Elly sat in her recliner, paid some bills and otherwise seemed disinterested in the fact that it was MOVING DAY!!! She never packed a suitcase, toiletries or even her purse! My cousin was to come at 11 a.m. and I still had to get Elly out of the house before it all came apart with bodies moving quickly with sharp furniture!!! It was just before 11 a.m. and I texted my plan to take Elly to senior living, park her with the knitting/crochet club and then run back to the house to help orchestrate and direct the move. Oh No! said NurseySis, she was not to be dumped, I was to stay with her. Of course, I couldn't argue. NurseySis was in the middle of a "soft move" into her beautiful move-in ready home! She had strong ideas and was in charge of her move and ours, evidently.

So, I waited with Elly, had lunch and kept an eye out the dining window for the trailer of stuff directed by AH. It took about two hours and the apartment had been set up. Elly safely directed the final placements of the living room furniture from her recliner. The effort was exhausting for her but she was very happy. My cousin left shortly after I provided a simple late lunch for him and his sons, my son and AH. They did a great job but now our house looked like a hurricane had hit! On Sunday we had a walk-thru by a potential buyer so we hit the house on Saturday with everything we could muster!

NurseySis stayed with Elly the first night. Our concerns were for her safety since she had fallen just a few days before while we were gone to the coast. Elly fell during the night while we were gone and the next morning NurseySis found her laying in the bedroom, full of bruises without any knowledge of what had happened. She still to this day doesn't remember anything about falling. The paramedics were called to get her up off the floor and into her chair. She fainted later that day in the chair; my nephew carried her to her bed so she could lay down and come to comfortably. Elly was likely dehydrated, probably didn't eat much while we were gone and may not have taken her meds properly. This was not on my watch and I was sad that it had to happen like this. We had very sketchy cell phone service so we didn't find out this happened until Sunday night at dinner.

So after Elly's move to senior living, the plan was for NurseySis and I to take turns staying overnight since Elly was getting up at night, may become disoriented in a new place and needed help dressing because of the bruising from the fall. I took the second night, Elly got up twice and needed help getting back into bed and couldn't get her legs up into the bed. The second night was even worse! She got up five times between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.!!!! She didn't need help but I watched her from my bed on the couch each time. She was getting lots of exercise while getting rid of lots of water weight. Her legs have continued to be swollen as NurseySis had taken her off the water pill to help with the dehydration.

After about five days of staying overnight, we have released her to be on her own. She's been doing well. She really enjoys the social interaction during meals, using her walker to walk a pretty long way. I have spent a couple of meals with her, at $5 a pop, it's easy to justify a meal once a week or so. I've met some wonderful seniors who are very independent but look out for each other. There is always someone to help move Elly's walker to the parking spot after she is seated or help her up out of the cushy dining chair on wheels. She says she even asks the gentlemen to help her. I did borrow a wheelchair so that when one of us comes and she's not feeling very strong, we can wheel her and just park her at the table without a transfer.

I have anticipated a downturn after the first week and I believe we are seeing that now. Many people have warned us about this happening. Elly is feeling a little dizzy, weak with no appetite. I could blame some of that on the snack size Twix Bars that NurseySis left for her. Elly will have chocolate as a before-breakfast snack. I think diet does play a part, as well as depression due to all the changes. What I have observed is that Elly didn't pack for this "final" move, she let it happen. We are confident that she wanted this. I am wondering if this is how she is processing her final days. I have often said that I don't think Elly will see this Christmas with us. The weakness and the way she does not want to come back to the house for Thanksgiving says a lot about how she is distancing herself from the family and traditions. She wasn't interested in having any of the pictures on the walls brought over to her apartment--we did anyway but it's just another sign that she wants something different. There will be a "Welcome" dinner provided by her senior living place for us, family and friends in a private dining room on Sunday. We will celebrate her successful transition and be served by the awesome dining staff.

Elly is looking forward to me bringing some Christmas decorations for her apartment. She seems to feel better while I am there talking to her. NurseySis says Elly is a terrible historian so we shouldn't rely on what she says about eating or not eating. I know that is very true which makes it harder to figure her out. I have a home health referral to get her some services like physical therapy for her weakness and a blood draw for her doctor. I asked her doctor for a home health referral; she said she would do it, albeit reluctantly, I just don't get that.  NurseySis and I asked the doctor to have the end of life conversation with Elly also which was interesting. We just need Elly to fill out the papers which the doctor did not have. Ugh! So, Elly is living her life the way she wanted, expecting to do her own thing and "let us have our own life."

I still in check in with Elly, stopping in every other day, get her laundry done and bring in her mail. It's a different season of CareGiving for sure!

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Denise

You did so much and in such a short amount of time. \r\n\r\nYou also have a lot of adjustments. How are you feeling now that you've had a little bit of time to process?

jan

Wow, EGD, you have sure accomplished much, and I hope you are at peace with it all and know you did a really really good thing. So hard to find the balance between her independence and her safety. I hope all the homework you did to bring this to pass will pay off in big dividends for all of you. I hope you can feel comfortable in the new space that was just created. You will always have her foremost in your mind, but now you know the burden is shared, not yours alone. Good job.

Jean

Oh, you've certainly had a whirlwhind of activity! and it seem more to come. I hope soon you'll have an extended long, deep breath. I'm glad Elly seems to be settling in. I'm sure it's a HUGE adjustment for all. Hugs to you for the continued wonderful job you do with her.

Sharon

I am glad Elly is adjusting well. I know you gave Elly wonderful care and compassion. I hopd you and AH can move forward knowing you did your very best.

Hussy

What an action-packed (not to mention drama-packed) few days you've had. You and AH have always put Elly's best interests first, no matter how difficult things have gotten, and it's clear that you continue to do your very best for her.

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