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Mom and a home health aide

March 24, 2011

We’ve slowly been getting Mom used to the idea that she’s going to need a home health aide at some point. Actually, for our peace of mind, that time is pretty much here. It’s getting her to agree that’s the hard part!

When she sold the house, Mom moved into an apartment in the village. It’s not a seniors complex, but there are quite a few senior citizens living there. (In a village the size of Central Square, there’s not many complexes to choose from!) She has a ground-floor unit, with no steps getting into the building.  She could conceivably stay there forever – if, that is, she gets a little bit of help.

Safety-wise, the main concern is showering, since her mobility is so limited and she needs to step high over the bathtub to get in the shower. And there’s lots of other things Mom can do, but it would be nice to have someone help her sometime: laundry, getting dressed, taking out the trash, etc.

When I first broached the subject a year or so ago, she soundly dismissed me. I knew she would, but that didn’t stop me from mentioning it every once in awhile. When we went to Alaska, I had the chance to really get her used to the idea. She’s now agreed that yes, it would be helpful, but “not just yet.”

First she mentioned calling  someone who helped a friend’s mother. I explained that she really should go through a home health agency to get someone who’s insured and bonded. At first she poo-poohed the idea, then I gave her some tough talk: What if the aide hurt her back helping Mom into the shower? She could sue her. And what if the person stole something? Mom would have no recourse.

Then I had to assuage her concerns about having a stranger in the apartment. Mom was worried about someone rummaging through the apartment while she was in the shower. I told her the aide should never be anywhere Mom wasn’t, since she’d be paid to take care of her.

She’s given up on the private aide. However, that doesn’t mean that she’s still ready to take the next step. She lost the phone number. She hasn’t been home to call. She wants to wait until she goes to the doctor to see if Medicare will cover it.

I gotta say, the woman has a lot of excuses designed to shut me up. But I’m like a dog with a bone. Every other phone call, I ask if she’s called an agency yet. Every once in awhile, I give her the zinger: It’s what Dad would have wanted, it’s the reason he worked so hard to make sure she would be taken care of. Soon I’ll wear her down. No matter how much she equivocates, she won’t wear me down!

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From → Elder care

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