Mom is miserable. She desperately waits for my daily visit.
She is frustrated by the apparent lack of a fixed schedule. In Assisted Living, the meals were precisely at 8, 12, and 5PM. Here, with a larger population and varying needs, people come and go as they wish during open meal hours - some might say it's more flexible, but to my mother, it's more confusing.
More staff work at this larger nursing home than worked at her former facility, and she is saddened to not have as close a connection, to not be able to call them all by name. They just flow in and out of her room, a river of helpers but with less connection, generally (except for the few that have shown particular interest).
She needs more help now, perhaps because she got sick with a cold that weakened her as soon as she arrived, or because she is overwhelmed by the change. Her continence issues have worsened, though they kindly have helped her. A couple of days ago I arrived to find her sitting in her chair in a light summer nightgown and with shawls on her lap and shoulders, after she blew through all her pants. (I've since bought her a much larger supply of pants that fit her.) It was so sad.
The dining room is further away, and walking to it from her room at the end of her hallway is more of a challenge than before. So she must decide if she needs to have them transport her in her chair, or, if she's going to try to walk. Yesterday, she decided to walk, but gave out midway. Someone brought her wheelchair - but then she had a low-blood-sugar incident.
But there are also kindnesses. Sheryl, the aide who stayed a bit late on her shift to do Mom's nails. Mary, who patiently helped her during her diarrhea episodes. The unnamed woman who saw her having trouble walking, and got her chair. The staff who come to visit to offer activities. The hospice folks who provide stability and support.
Mom is back to talking about wanting to die, NOW. She says she won't need the summer nightgowns because she'll be dead by that time. I (again, again, again) remind her of the preciousness of life, that she needs to find at least one thing each day to make someone else's life better. That she needs to live fully each day of life that she has. She nods, says yes, you're right... then says the same thing the next day.
And I continue to look for things I need to learn about this situation, to become more whole myself, while I have this privilege/duty in my life. Today, I'm too overwhelmed with the situation to have perspective, but I continue to seek it. I hope time helps me find the insights.
(I'm not even going to re-read this to edit it. Just too... tired.)