Bessie & Mickey enjoy a game of cards
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“This is the story about “Mickey” age 93. Through a mutual friend, we met Jennifer & her parents in the Spring of 2014 when they were making plans, making alterations, applying for permits and licenses for what is now “Fairgate Estate” in Camas, WA.
At that time, Mickey was living with me after a hospital stay that made it clear she could no longer live without special care and assistance. As her oldest daughter, living alone, I thought I could handle that with just a little extra help. What a surprise! After 4 months, I saw my relationship with my Mom crashing. Being her caregiver 24/7 and learning about medications (new study for me)
multiple doctor visits, speech therapy, 24 hour oxygen, etc., etc. I started feeling resentment for such a big sacrifice to take care of her. I called Jennifer to talk about the possibility of assisted living. She was my life line with support, but were still awaiting state licensing.
First, I needed to tell Mom how I felt and what I thought would work for both of us (this was the hardest part). I started interviewing the senior living facilities in the area. I went to several places and interviewed the intake person, toured the location and discussed how my Mom would fit in there. I selected two that I thought would work primarily because they were convenient to where I lived, which meant I could be involved regularly.
I took my Mother and sister with me to tour the arrangement. We had lunch and were able to observe the residents during this time just trying to “sense” how she would fit. A decision was made and on May 1st, Mom was moved to a one bedroom suite. I think her experience there was normal for the situation. There were many sweet, caring people that took care of her as well as they could based on their work load. The number of residents averaged 100.
In mid October, Mickey had a fall during the night which traumatized her. She couldn’t remember what happened but it was obvious she was badly hurt with the look of the bruises on her back and scraped shins which were deep enough she had open gouges. Three days later, she had symptoms of a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. After six days, they were proposing Hospice or possibly Palliative care. Mom begged me not to make her go back to the old place.
I called Jennifer and she was finally able to offer Mom a home. She went to rehab in the area for 5 days, which gave us time to move her. When Jennifer visited her in rehab she wanted to know “Are you sure you want me?” Jennifer has never changed her answer, “This is your forever home”.
If you meet my Mom today, she will tell you (without prompting) that this is her home and they all love me. I thank God for His Grace in leading us there. Her health has so greatly improved, she went from wheelchair to walker after the first month. Her meds have been reduced to half and the biggest success of all, she has been weaned off the morphine patches and is pain free! She will celebrate her 94th in September. Her life story is amazing. Life has been hard for her, but she still has a smart wit and she will beat you at cards or Yahtzee any day!”