Weather continues to be very warm here and life continues to be busy.
Yesterday I was catching up on laundry, going to the Diabetes Clinic, meeting a old friend for lunch and making countless phone calls concerning my mother's medical needs. There are many things she needs that are not supplied by the new facility amd we have to go through insurance to get them. The facility where she now lives is privately owned and very new so they have absolutely nothing on hand to properly look after someone with complex care needs. I was not prepared for that and no one told us that before the move so that things could be properly prepared. When mom moved in, I learned that the Occupational Therapist (OT) was not yet on board and so that meant mom had to wait several weeks to get a proper assessment in order to get the medical supplies that she really needs or uses. Needless to say she has been in tremendous pain and discomfort since Day 1 and sadly, I've seen her health and state of mind begin to deteriorate rather rapidly.
The OT started last week and she is moving as fast as she can on getting a new wheelchair but there are many other things that mom needs and so I've gotten involved. Please keep us in prayer and especially my mother. I'm hoping we can alleviate some of her distress and discomfort very soon. I'm working with multiple parties to try and make it so. At least if mom can see some progress she will feel encouraged and her spirits will be lifted. Trust me, it is taking all my time and stamina at a very busy time and when I am not feeling entirely up to it.
But I thank God that today things seem to be moving in the right direction. I needed this day as I've been feeling quite stressed and struggling to pace myself, get adequate reset and stay grounded. First, I talked to a pastor that mom asked me a few days ago to call. I couldn't call sooner because I had a guest earlier this week. The pastor wanted me to call her and explain what mom is dealing with so she can pray more specifically. I've talked to this pastor once before and she is such a kind and down to earth woman. It was a delight to speak with her again and to know that we have her prayer support at this stressful time. She said she would like to call my mother every week and I was overjoyed! Mom will love that since the new facility where she lives has no Sunday church services.
|Flowers from a community garden.|
I was also able to make contact with the insurance provider to determine what they need in order to approve new electronic wheelchair my mother needs. Since electronic wheelchairs are incredibly expensive, it requires all kinds of paperwork and reports to be in good order before such a device is approved. If everything is properly done, approval can be done within a week which is quite rapid. But if things are not done right, it can delay things considerably. Fortunately the person I spoke with today told me exactly what is required and hopefully the OT will not be offended when I try to work with her to ensure that all goes smoothly. I feel I must get involved for my mother's sake. I know from experience of getting mother's first wheelchair that I had to get involved then too or mother never would have gotten her wheelchair. Despite the reports and recommendations that were made on her behalf at that time, it took me writing a letter on her behalf to justify why mother needed such a wheelchair. Once we got the approval, it still took 8 months to get the wheelchair from the provider.
I am praying the time will be reduced as she is dire need of proper support. I was told by one service provider employee today that it should never take 8 months and that the longest he has ever seen a person wait is 2 months. This was good information and gives me a guidelines. Of course the order for the new chair will not go through the service provider who took 8 months the first time round.
In addition to a wheelchair mom needs several other items (parachute sling, trapeze, etc.) to help the staff help mom in the daily work of getting her ready for the day and for bed at night. Private facilities don't seem to have any equipment for their residents. I guess everyone has to buy their own unlike government run facilities which provide a lot of basic things like trapezes, commodes, over the bed table trays, etc.
Other needs include finding an over bed table or two and an appropriate mattress topper to prevent pressure sores. These items do not seem to be covered by the national insurance plan and so I'm exploring other options. For example, I learned that the Canadian Red Cross can loan over the bed tables but so far I haven't found out where I can get an appropriate mattress topper. The insurance plan seems to classify mattresses as "furniture" even though some of them are medical devices to prevent pressure sores.
I do not want the insurance plan to purchase everything because I do not want to have to deal with them when mom no longer needs them. Also if I end up having to move her again, I really do not want to have to move all the medical equipment with us. It would be better if some things could be rented though the wheelchair will probably be purchased. I may be asking too much as the OT and supplier are used to doing things between themselves and not involving family in whether to purchase or rent items. I will interject myself as much as I can since I am the one who has to deal with the aftermath. It would be so much better if these places could simply involve family members but they don't seem to unless you call them. Even then it is "touch and go" as to whether they will actually listen to you.
I've had to learn a lot about facilities and medical suppliers, insurance policies and multi-government regulations since mom first became incapacitated and needed more support than I could provide. I've learned that this whole area is a very complicated field. I've also learned that everything that a senior person needs by way of medical devices is astronomically priced and the industry must be raking in the money with all the seniors and baby boomers who are going to be retiring in these kinds of places. Seniors have very little say in what goes on even when residence claim to put "resident's first". There are also a lot of appalling things that go on in these places. If I can avoid going into one of these homes myself in future, I will but sometimes it cannot be helped. Therefore, I now try to help other aging friends facing these kinds of decisions in the next few years. Most people don't want to even discuss or contemplate such moves while they have the capacity to do so.
Though I spent a lot of time on the phone today on medical things, I also did other mundane things. I made dinner and found some time to replenish the vegetable bins. If I'm up to it, I like to wash all the vegetables and peel what I can before storing them in the crisper for use. I don't do this task every time I purchase vegetables but it makes so much of a difference when I do. I also eat more raw carrots and celery sticks when they are already clean and stored in the crisper.
|Special crispers I purchased for vegetables since I often have too many for my one big crisper.|
|This is my one large vegetable crisper. I use the other one for fruits and vegetable "overflow".|
|I washed my spinach in the salad spinner. This helps to get the excess water out before I dry them off with a towel and put them into my small crispers.|
It is now the weekend and I have to get some bloodwork done tomorrow. I hope to be able to get some cleaning done too so next week I can catch up on things and friends outside of the house and continue to deal with mom's medical needs. It is still very hot here so I don't feel like doing too much in the heat of the day. It is cooler at night and so I am now about to wash my kitchen floor. It will be good to wake up to a nice clean floor.
I'm tempted to stop off for a foot massage tomorrow if I can get an appointment with one particular person who I've found is the best so far. If he isn't available, I will save my money as the cost adds up. I've had three massages already this month! Only 1 of them was really worth it. In case you are interested I'm posting a chart of the different areas of the feet that correspond with different parts of your body.
|Image from Acumats which sells mats you can stand on to massage different parts of your feet.|
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.