Some of you reading this know that in September 2008 my mother had a stroke and in Dec 29, 2008 moved near me where I oversaw her care until she died on May 2012. During that time every month I made a poster for my sister who lives in Japan so that she could know what mom was going through and assess her condition. Although these were/are on a server, I did not give out the address so they were not public.
But now I want to presnt them because in them you can see a person, even suffering from severe memory damage, never gave up. And I am sure that there are many others like her, and so I will be presenting these posters to try to convince those of you taking care of a person in a memory care situation, that when lyou are with your “loved one” to make the best of those moments.
In May of 2010 I thought mom was going to die. During the prevous 6 weeks she stopped eating— I was going to the residence twice a day trying to help get her to eat but she kept losing weight—and then she could not get out of bed and I started hospice. The hospice doctor came and in 15 minutes she had ordered mom to the ER. Off hospice , on insurance and medicare, she was diagnosed with a hip fracture, admitted to the hospital and two days later had the operation.
There were some concerns because of the combination of her age and the anesthetic, but it came down to there was a small possibility of the operation resulting in her being bed ridden, and if we did not have the operation she would be bed ridden. She likes being active so it was a simple choice and we had the operation.
This poster includes photographs of˙her in the ER, in the hospital and in the rehab residence where she stayed until August, 2010. I generally went there 2-3 times a day, it was only 10 minutes away. She should weigh about 100 pounds, she entered rehab at 76 pounds, I went there for lunch and dinner and made sure that she ate everything in the meal plus I gave her a bottle of Ensure at both meals. When she left she weighed over 80 lbs.
Because she was more responsive to me being there for her physical and occupational therapy, I often went a third time—sometimes it was right after lunch and then I was there, but sometimes it was at 3:00 pm and I went and came back and then went home and came back for dinner. Anyway, in these images you can feel something of her experience.