Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Updates From the Caregiving Front















Daughters Serena and Maria flew in from their separate locations (near Houston & Washington, DC) for a super quick vsist this past weekend. I picked them up from Denver airport Friday late morning and returned them there about the same time on Sunday morning. A whirlwind visit but wonderful.





They made the effort so they could visit my mom who's now in what I was calling a "full service" care facility. Then I checked the name on the paperwork and found the name is actually Columbine West Health and Rehab. And, they're not kidding. There are physical therapists there working with the residents as well as occupational therapists and the nurses are also trained in what they call "restorative care." All of these efforts are designed to help the residents regain as much of their physical strength as possible and do as much as they can for themselves so that their quality of life is improved.





And, I have to report that my mom's condition has definitely improved. They've been doing some gentle leg exercises with her and she's able to move herself up to a sitting position from bed and can now stand (with them beside her) to take care of personal functions. That is a marked improvement in only two weeks. It would be wonderful to see her be able to return to using her walker instead of the wheelchair, but we'll have to see if that's possible. And if it isn't, that's okay. The fact that she's adjusting very well indeed for a 91-yr lady is huge progress itself. And---there's even an unexpected benefit. The hairdresser at this facility does a much more flattering shampoo and set on my mom's lovely silver hair. :) Women never get too old to care about their looks.




Serena and Maria really enjoyed visiting with their grandmother, and they even made two videos of her talking about things in her childhood. Apparently those memories stay in our minds even when we've forgotten most of everything else. And the girls also bought, assembled, and installed a lovely bird feeder outside my mom's large window. It's a crook (Bishop's crook) of black metal with two "crooks" which they used to hang two separate feeders--one with a "squirrel-proof" feeder for birdseed and the other for a nectar-filled hummingbird feeder. She and I saw a sweet little brown wren show up this afternoon and eat and eat and eat. He's was a little skinny, so this new feeder was a bonanza for him.




Oh, and I learned that I'd made an observational mistake regarding the Kennedy Space Center exhibit building which was located at the Banana Creek viewing area where our family watched the Atlantis shuttle launch. Serena told me the rocket which is on display there is the Saturn V rocket, which Serena told me is MUCH bigger than the Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V is going to be the rocket used to launch the mini shuttle Dream Catcher in the near future.

14 comments:

ev said...

So glad to hear your mom is doing better. And how wonderful the girls could come in for a quick visit.

It's hard, but you never do know when it will be the last visit and those memories are the most important ones.

I was glad I was able to do that with my dad- even though Amtrak conspired against me ever getting there and then cut my time short.

Now to post some pics from the bird feeder if you can get some.

Pj Schott said...

Dream Catcher, huh.

Sarita said...

So glad to hear your mother is doing better. It sounds like you had a lovely visit!

Debra said...

It sounds like you definitely made the right decision moving your Mom. I am really paying attention to your experiences because I know my sister and I will be going down the same road, sooner rather than later. It sounds minor, but a big step was helping my Dad find and hire a cleaner. This took multiple phone calls and emails so I guess you had five times as much work (more!) to get your Mom where she is today.

signlady217 said...

Glad you had and good visit with your daughters and that your mom is doing better!

Vickie said...

What a wonderful, albeit whirlwind, weekend for all!

Aurian said...

What a sweet blog post Maggie. I enjoyed reading it, and I am very happy your mother is getting a little bit better. I do love the bird feeder, am trying to get some in my own garden, but so far, only the "mussen" (Prunella modularis) are coming in droves, and some very fat pigeons. Sorry, no idea what the English name is for those most common little birds.

Maggie Sefton said...

ev---Your comment was spot on. That's why I always tell my mom that I love her before I leave. You never know how long they'll be around.

Maggie Sefton said...

PJ---That's what the company is calling it. It's a mini version of the space shuttle.

Sarita---We had a great visit. Thanks.

Maggie Sefton said...

Debra--Definitely. I tell you I couldn't have done it without the "systems" available. The private home care company that provided the caregivers who came to my mom's condo apt in the lovely indepenedent living facility, the Worthington. They were jewels. They took great care of my mom for four and a half years. I wouldn't have been able to travel to conferences and booksignings or even put in the hours necessary to create and maintain a successful fiction career. And that's how I pay the bills. :) So, those folks were an absolute necessity. And--to be truthful----my mom was fortunate to have ample pension funds to pay for all of that. I would not have been able to pay for it.

Maggie Sefton said...

signlady & Vickie---I loved seeing the girls, even for a couple of days. And we even made it SAturday night to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in Boulder, like old times.

Aurian---I'm laughing as I picture those fat pigeons. :)

Fifty On Purpose said...

What a blessing to hear that your mom is doing well! Blessings to you all!

Maggie Sefton said...

Fifty on Purpose---I love your name. :) Thank you for the blessings.

Nancy said...

Best wishes for your Mom. It's wonderful that they are working with her on doing the best she can.