Discovering Hope: A Daughters Story
From Daughter of a Resident at Cribbs Residential Center
We hear the story over and over… adult children who are desperately looking for solutions for their parent’s safety, wellbeing and quality of life, yet unsure where to start, who can help, and even what they need.
For one such family, their long emotional journey resulted in a great sense of security and peace. In order to help others, they have agreed to share their story.
Living alone, Mom had been reclusive for so long that no one saw it as a problem. Fiercely independent, she had called every shot since she became a widow twenty years ago.
As Mom started to decline, it was hard for her children to see. Living outside the area, they found communicating over the phone was only providing one viewpoint. She was good at masking her problems, but had experienced serious nutritional decline, depression and significant memory loss.
When Mom was hospitalized with an intestinal problem, the girls found themselves facing a maze of challenges and decisions. Both daughters came home and tried to navigate several hospital stays, surgery, medication changes and diagnosis they felt ill informed about. Through it all Mom was totally out of touch with what was happening. Wanting to go home, she angrily fought her daughters every step of the way. “Mom had always trusted us before, but her dementia took away that trust.”
Trying to please her they took her home and stayed with her. Suddenly responsible for her medications and learning how to care for her was daunting! Over the course of her illness she had experienced a urinary tract infection, delirium and CDIFF. After 12 days of struggling at home, they took her back to the hospital. “We were on the emotional front line trying to make decisions but not understanding it all. This was extremely heart wrenching for my sister and I. But we had to think with our love for her. Despite everything, our love for her had to keep her safe.”
Within a few weeks she was transferred to Wesbury’s Grace Health Center for short term rehabilitation. “At Grace, everyone acted so positive, from the Nurse aides to Pastor Torre, we felt like we had delivered her to heaven.” After living in a constant state of emergency, finally, they could relinquish control. “Nurse Charlie was able to locate the problems of Mother’s decline while Dr. Bailey reduced her medications to a proper regimen for her situation.” For the first time in months, Mom started to get stronger.
As Mom improved in her rehabilitation program, the girls planned her move to Wesbury’s Cribbs Residential Center. They knew she could not return to her isolated environment. Here she could have her own apartment, the services she needs and socialization. “At home, Mom was being fed her social life through her TV. At Wesbury she met people and wanted to help them. Her heart led her to give and she stopped focusing on herself.” Once she moved to Cribbs, her daughters saw how Mom was flourishing as she interacted with new friends. “Now she is going to events and day trips. It’s amazing to see her come alive and be inspired again.”
Although Mom has started a renewed and fulfilling life at Cribbs, her dementia is still a challenge. The girls know there will be difficulty ahead. “Nurse Elaine and the staff have worked 100% with us. They have advice for every step we have taken. They understand what we are going through and how to help us plan for what may be ahead.”