” I do not know if my Mother is well cared for, I feel helpless and I am so far away! I worry, because she cries every time a local friend visits her. And she cries when my husband phones (who pretends to be a friend), so I can have a quick chat with my Mother. The facility blocked me from any communication with my Mother, because I am being difficult!
All I want is to talk to my Mother, even though she is sobbing through our whole conversation. At least I can hear her voice.
Help!!” she said over the phone. Filled with helplessness and hopeless feelings to help her Mother, she asked for help.
I got into my car and drove the distance to her Mother.
What I found was a normal facility like so many.
But when I saw her, I knew…
I walked through the locked glass doors, and a frail women came walking down the passage. I knew it was her!
I opened my arms and she walked straight into them, feeling the warmth of a hug of another human. She kissed me in the neck and I returned her kisses. A moment of love between two strangers sending a message of Hope to the Universe.
I smelt her body, a feint smell of not being washed recently. But her beautiful blue eyes begged me for more, a bit of my time, begged me to stay.
We walked the way she walks every single day in this Home. Nowhere else to walk, just up and down the passage, turn around and up and down. No couch or chair in the passage for her to see to remind her that she can sit for a while. Only at the end of the passage an area with a couple more patients sitting quietly. Then we turned around and walk the same way…up and down for about fifteen minutes.
I asked her, if we could sit in her room for a while, but she couldn’t find her room. I asked a Carer sitting with the patients, where her room was, but was told that it is not in this section of the building, the Alzheimer Unit. Nowhere could she sit for a minute, to rest her old thin legs, nowhere was there anything that is familiar to her, a photo, a vase, a cushion, a blanket.
After some more pacing the passage, I found the drying lines for the laundry and two chairs and was relieved to be able to sit down for a while. We watched the linen on the lines but enjoyed the sun on our faces. We chatted and she told me how lonely she is. She told me she gets shoved around. She misses her children. No one speaks her language. I do know that I couldn’t believe everything as the truth because of her Dementia, but I also do know that you have to listen to them! You have to listen and not ignore as nonsense. Listen and observe.
She devoured the chocolate I brought, and with it melting through her fingers she offered me a piece. How could I refuse, as she hid the rest in her pocket?
Her clothes were soiled. It was only 10 o’clock in the morning, and no stains and marks were fresh. I hoped it was from the mornings’ breakfast.
Too soon I had to go, and I left a sobbing strange lady behind. I had the urge of walking with her through the glass doors, and bundled her into my car to take her to a Home with grass and flowers, and walking paths, and love!
At least now I could talk to her daughter, send her a video of her dear Mother, and hoped it will help her a bit.
Her friend phoned to make an appointment to come and visit me at Jura Care.
She came, but with her was this frail old women!
What a surprise!
She loved Jura, the people, the dogs, and couldn’t believe the beautiful gardens where they sat to have coffee and muffins. When it was time to go, she refused. She begged to stay, not wanting to go back to that place. We hoped that she will forget and get into the car, but she didn’t. As soon as we want them to leave, going towards the door she started crying and begging again.
Her friend looked at me, and I looked at her.
I saved people from horrible situations before, but at least I had time and the needed permissions. Bewildered she asked me what I would need from her, her ID, if she leaves the old lady here.? Can she sign a document?
I was without words, just emotional with the old lady between us.
My mouth said, it is ok. She can stay.
I will never forget the hugs and kisses she gave her friend, and me and then again her friend. She was so happy as she turned around and waved at her friend, and walked into Jura all by herself!
The Staff was shocked to see her returning, but immediately they became the wonderful Angels they are.
They ran around for toiletries, borrowed pajamas for the night, some clothes for tomorrow! Women busy to help as they were called to do in their lives.
She desperately needed a shower, and was still wearing the soiled pants of three days ago!
And so she stayed…
With the Registered Nurse taking control, we soon realised that she had a severe bladder prolapse and severe urinary tract infection.
She was so constipated that she needed physical help. Was this the cause of the prolapse?
She also had a laceration on her arm, not being treated with some ointment or a plaster.
Today it is 12 days later, and she is gaining some weight, her health is much better and is controlled and monitored daily.
She loves the other residents, she is a lovable favorite of all Staff, she hardly cry anymore. She found a purpose at Jura, loves to sort our arts and crafts into groups, helps in the kitchen and folds the laundry and enjoys all the pampering!
Thanks for staying…