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Special needs

July 26, 2010

Mom’s mobility has declined in the years since my dad passed away, so her traveling has been limited. She makes annual trips to Florida to visit my sister, and to Virginia, to spend Christmas with my husband and me. Last year, she and I made a road trip to Michigan and Ohio, to visit another sister and other family. So she’s somewhat used to the realities of her particular needs, and she trusts me take care of her and of things in general.

A bit more about Mom’s medical conditions:

  1. She’s been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 30+ years. This isn’t really much of factor in decisions, since her diabetes is well-controlled. Of course, there was one trip when she forgot to pack her syringes, and another when she didn’t want to take time to eat before boarding her flight, resulting in her passing out when she reached her layover airport. Planning is a must!
  2. She has severe rheumatoid arthritis, which has gradually worsened to the point where she now uses a wheelchair for distances. She has a transport chair she keeps in her car, and gets around otherwise with a quad cane. When she visits us or my sister, we rent a transport chair for her. When she walks, it’s slow-going, and requires patience on my part.
  3. She uses an elevated toilet seat and a shower seat.
  4. Her hands are pretty gnarled from RA, and she has difficulty grasping some things. As a result, meals take quite a while (see need for patience, above).
  5. Due to her RA and some falls in recent years, she has limited range of motion in her arms and shoulder. Things like dressing take a long time. Not to sound like a broken record, but patience is not only a virtue, but a necessity.
  6. With all these things, bathroom visits can’t be delayed, since she doesn’t move fast, so that’s another thing to take into account.
  7. Being prepared is a must!
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