15 Apr

Small Journey, Big Consequences

My mother is 90 years old and quite frail in health. Since she was widowed she’s lived alone, keeping her independence, preferring a private lifestyle in her apartment. A couple of weeks ago she moved into a nursing home one mile from where she’s lived for 37 years. The journey was short but the emotional impact was huge. One way Mum has kept herself going is a strict routine through the day; at precise times she would get up, move to the kitchen to make a drink, or prepare lunch. It was an effort lately, but it retained her independence and structured her days. Now the nurses decide the routines and the shape of the day. For a little while Mum found the loss of control difficult; she worried about her medication and whether it would appear at the right time. Because the nurses check her in her room through the day, her privacy was eroded. That, too, was hard for her. It was so good, some days after her arrival, to hear that she feels safer at night now. Instead of the lonely hours in her own place, she has staff a few seconds away if she needs help. I’m so grateful for this good outcome of one of the shortest journeys this blog is likely to describe.

15 April, 2005