At 10:10pm on the 4th of July we bid farewell to Bob’s mother, Ruth. She was 98 1/2 years old.
For anyone who has had a loved one with Dementia or Alzhiemer’s, I don’t have to tell you what a long road your loved one travels till they get to the end of their journey. It’s a slow, torturous trip (for all involved). And as we watch them decline to the point they don’t even know us anymore, it’s hard not to feel… simply helpless.
Ruth was a very sophisticated lady. She wore high heels every day well into her 80s. She hated giving them up, but when they became a fall hazard for her, she grudgingly did so. But oh how she missed her high heels! A couple of years ago, while she was in the nursing home, she got her hands on a newspaper and noticed Dillard’s was having a sale on… you guessed it–high heels!
In her dementia, she grabbed her walker and trotted down to the front desk and demanded her car be brought around. Dillard’s was having a sale on high heels and she was bent on going and getting herself some new shoes! The staff retold that story many times.
In May we moved Mom from a nursing home into a personal care home. She was already on Hospice for her dementia and was in late stages of the disease at that time. My long-time friend and adopted sister Brenda had just opened up her own personal care home and Mom was really her first client. Actually, it all worked out so well for all of us. Brenda was an experienced nurse and had worked as a Hospice nurse a few years earlier. She had also run her own day care center for years prior to this. She is indeed a natural care-giver.
Mom received 24/7 care and Brenda rented a very lovely home for her new business. This house was perfectly laid out for this purpose. As she opened it up, everything she needed was provided by different people… it had to be a divine plan for sure.
Mom was finally able to rest in comfort in this personal care home. We wish we could have found a place like this many years earlier. It would have been a much better alternative to the nursing home.
Mom finally had comfort and personal care for her final days. She had dignity at last…
Hospice is truly a caring organization. They are focused on the comfort and dignity of the dying. We learned a lot during this final journey with Mom. I used to fear what the end would be like. For me it was pretty much an unknown entity.
I feel much calmer now that I know there is a way to go with grace, dignity, and peace. A way to go with God…
Goodbye for now Mom… we’ll see you later…