May 13, 2012

Life's Harsh Realities

So, here we are on Mother's Day. My husband's mom is in an assisted living facility in NJ, and he's here in Atlanta. When he was a kid they lived in a really big house and both elderly grandmothers lived with them. Because of that both my husband and his mother believe that family should always take care of the elderly members. She is very upset that neither of her children have her living with them.

My husband left home in his early twenties, rarely visited, and doesn't understand why his mom isn't still living at her daughter's house, either. Keep in mind, he's 900 miles away and has been happy to let life in NJ go on with just the occasional phone call. Nor has he ever seriously considered returning and moving in with his mom to take care of her as she got older.

Now for the realities. His mom cannot sleep through the night and either wanders or stays in bed screaming. She cannot properly clean herself. She cannot walk without assistance. She can't prepare a meal for herself.

Hubby's moms overnight behavior makes it all but impossible for an adult child who has to work full-time.
Hubby's sister is in a townhome with stairs. Not safe for his mom.
The townhome does not have the space for live-in help.
Neither does our house.
Do you know how expensive a live-in helper would be? If one could even be found?

This woman is extremely well taken care of at this place and the staff is SO caring. It costs a bajillion dollars a month, but she's getting what she (and Medicare) pays for. I wish we had the money for a bigger house with an in-law suite. I wish I didn't have MS and could properly take care of her. But reality is, neither my husband, nor his sister, are able to provide the quality of care their mom is currently receiving.

Some realities just have to be accepted.