Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two years & 3 months ago...

I let another woman move into my house. My MIL. She wasn't moving in so I could squeeze free housekeeping, errand running or babysitting from her. Nope. She needed care, couldn't live alone, couldn't care for herself & other family members couldn't care for her anymore (you still rock Linda, Betty, Karen & Beth!!).
So we pulled our Grandma Patty away from all her other family in Ohio & brought her to Michigan. The state with horrid winters (so she stated). To live with us; her son, her 2 granddaughters (ages 2 & 4 at that time) & me, her DIL!!

The time I had to spend with Patty before the onset of her dementia (approx. 8 yrs. ago) proved her to be a fun loving, go out & have fun kinda woman! She loved to shop, eat out & catch a good movie.

Mostly she loves he family....especially her 4 granddaughters!
The two years we've had Patty there was a slow but steady decline. She could dress herself, then she couldn't. She could feed herself & then we were. She could bath & care for her toileting needs & then she couldn't find the bathroom.

For the past 3 months it has been a rapid decline. Greg & I knew that we would not be able to continue the caregiving, certainly not when the girls were out of school for the summer.

So a couple months ago we started looking into homes that would be able to take GP & give her some special love & care. Thankfully, the Kindergarten teacher @ our daughter's school mentioned a home close to where she lives. It's a place that they had heard good things about from some friends.
Then the long process began.... calls all day long to dr's, case workers, Medicaid, the home's director!! Whew!

At this point GP was pacing & crying/wailing non-stop from the time she woke to when we could get her to bed. Now, before you think sainthood should be bestowed on us....we had some really bad days. Stressed, short-tempered (w/GP & the girls)yelling, cajoling, name it. It finally came down to sitting her in her room with her favorite music, shutting the door (which she couldn't open) & letting her go at the crying alone for a couple hours each day. For our sanity's sake.

Making this long post as short as possible...last week Friday after a week of refusing to eat or drink GP had a severe UTI & was extremely dehydrated. We took her to ER, & they admitted her to the hospital from Saturday afternoon until Tuesday afternoon. The dr's in hospital wanted her to go right to the home we had found, but they were not quite prepared to take her (as she was scheduled to go in this Friday). So we brought her home....for one more night.
Bless those dr's @ the hospital they found some medication to not only clear up the UTI, but to make GP calm & happy! FINALLY!

So today went better than expected. No crying, only smiles & laughs. Most important, eye contact....she looked @ us & the girls this morning & smiled!! Yeah for GP!!

Here's a few pics of the day.....

It's rainy, but we're on our way!

GP & some of her things...on the way!

Pulling into Margaret's Meadows. A 20 bed facility, specializing in Memory Care. It sits on 5 acres & is beautiful inside & out.

Here we are....ready to walk into a new beginning!

A view from the hall, dining area on right, sitting/TV area on left. It's a secure unit so GP doesn't decide she wants to walk home!

GP got comfy real quick....she spoke to people, looked @ them with smiles & laughter for all!!

This is a pic of her room, due to the early move in date we didn't have all her personal items to decorate'll come!

This was her smiling as we left! No tears, no fear! I'm soooo happy for our GP!!

Oh, this is the director Maggie, er Susan (behind the papers of course). Maggie is actually a 4 month old Boston Terrier that comes to work everyday. They also have a huge, fluffy home cat that makes the ladies & gentlemen feel at ease!!

A BIG, HUGE THANK YOU GOES OUT FROM all our friends & family who have supported us in this leg of our life's journey. GP is loved, to the moon & back!!

--Jeanette using BlogPress on iPhone

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