Saturday, December 12, 2015

Christmas Party

Every year the care home where my mother lives puts on a special dinner before Christmas.  Family members are invited, at $25 per ticket.   The picture below is my mum at her first one, four years ago.  It's a nice picture of her.  

In four years a lot has changed.  My mum fell and broke her hip just before Christmas last year, so she spent Christmas in the hospital.  She wasn't bothered about me coming to the dinner that year, but then afterwards talked about how other residents had family members there, and she didn't... so I vowed that I would be there this year.  There has been a couple of times since the hip replacement that my mum has gone into a decline, and we did not expect her to come out of it.  But come out of it she did, twice. Not quite to the level she was before though.  Just recently she was having to be fed, and was on minced food.  About a week ago she was getting very upset that she wasn't getting 'real' food and tried to stab one of the care aides' hand with a fork.  I had to sign paperwork that I agreed that she could have solid food, even though she was still considered at risk to choke.
  At the dinner, I was discreetly trying to help her eat.  She only has one functioning hand, due to the stroke that put her in the care home in the first place. She wouldn't let me cut her food into manageable pieces, and made a threatening move at my hand one time.  I was trying to be discreet , and not have my mum create a scene.  I don't think she got much food into her.  She was very meticulous about picking the crumbs off the table at the end of the meal though;-)

Afterwards, at the other side of the dining room, there was some entertainment.  I've seen this couple perform before at the care home. They are called 'The Suede Dogs', Malcolm and Linda. They are good, singing a lot of old songs, and they get out there and work the audience.  Malcolm came over and took my mum's hand and sang right to her.  The rest of the time my mum played the part of conductor.

She obviously enjoyed the music, keeping time with every song.  Even when I thought she had fallen asleep, her eyes closed and her head tipped back, she was still nodding to the music. It was kind of cute:)

After it was all over, and we passed the nurse on the way back to her room, she commented that she was surprised my mum was still awake.  Back in her room I asked her if she wanted the TV on.  She seemed to be okay with that, and then she just angrily told me to 'Go, Well GO THEN'.  I kissed her goodbye and headed on home.  For the longest time the anger I would get from her would be upsetting, but now I'm able to just let it slip away.
  That visit was about as good as it gets these days.


  1. She has aged in four years, it is remarkable that after strokes and a broken hip that she is still around.
    Hopefully she won't stab anyone else with her fork! If she wanted real food then she should have it...and hope for the best.
    You are a good daughter, I know it cannot be easy being the closest one to always deal with the problems. It really sucks to get old and be in the home...I hope I by pass it:)

  2. I can't imagine how it is to be in your situation but I'm sure it must be terribly difficult. Like Far Side just commented, you're doing your best and are being a good daughter. My mom went quietly but my dad made my sisters' lives hard for the last years of his life. I,of course, was 1500 miles away from the problem. Besides he and I never really got along.
    Let's hope your mom has a better day on your next visit.

  3. this year is hard, my first season with mom in a home... my mom's food is minced, so it's inbetween in texture. The party is this week (wah i dont wanna go, but i should) She picks at crumbs and cleans up, but is extremely mobile and runs around because she doesnt know where she is (alzheimers) and so I send you a ((HUG)))

  4. Oh, Karen, that is difficult. Mom is declining quickly, but I'm so glad you joined her for the Holiday dinner. Old age, dementia, adding to the removal of her independence, all affects her dignity. I was lucky when Dad passed; he only kicked the Doctor out of his room. He said, "I don't know who you are, get out of my house." We all smiled and asked the physician to leave the room :)

  5. Oh how this brings back memories of my mom. I can be painful but then we have to respect their wishes and let them have their dignity, even if it is risky. It is want we would want in their shoes. I remember fighting with my mom to take her pills one day, she was being very stubborn and so was I, when she spit them all out I just sat back and laughed, then she did too. No pills that day but we both laughed and hugged each other, a memory I will never forget.

  6. This sure brought back memories of my Mother too. Looks like your Mother enjoyed the party. She did good keeping the beat to the music. You really are a good and patient daughter. It can sure be trying at times.


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