This is my 51st post about my mother since I began my blog in 2007. Most of those posts are about HER—her unfortunate decline with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Today’s post is about her caregivers. I rarely write about the good care my mother receives at Lakeland Nursing Home in Jackson, Mississippi, but her nurses and aids and physical therapists and activities directors and social workers really are her unsung heroes.
In the past week alone I’ve received five phone calls from various people who are taking care of her. First a nurse called to let me know the doctor had changed the dose on her psychotropic medicine to help with agitation and sleep. They call and let me know about everything they do for her that involves her treatment.
Next I got a call that Mom had pulled her peg tube out of her stomach (again) and they would send her to the hospital to have it put back in. Of course she has no idea what it is, and although they keep a lot of padding over it, when she can’t sleep or gets agitated she picks at it until she finally pulls it out. I’m amazed that this is only the second time she’s done this in the nearly two years she’s had the feeding tube. So, they call me when she leaves for the hospital, then a nurse at the hospital calls to get my permission for the procedure then they call me when she returns to Lakeland, doing just fine.
The next day I got a call from the activities director. She wanted to ask me which activities I thought meant the most to my mother. She’s way past being able to play bingo or follow a television show, but she still responds to music, so I suggested they be sure and take her into the dining room whenever there’s any music. And on Fridays some people from Covenant Presbyterian Church (the church my parents help start in the 1950s) come and lead the singing and do a little devotional. I’m sure the hymns and words must resonate with her 87-year-old Presbyterian soul. We discussed a few more things that might connect with Mom at this stage of her Alzheimer’s.
So, this is just a big THANK YOU to Mom’s angels at Lakeland. Her unsung heroes.