14

Under the Bed and On the Market

Note from the Eldercare Underground: 

     Muscle relaxants and real estate deals edition

Well, it’s been an interesting week. 

Last Sunday my daughter phoned and said that she’d been to visit my mother at The Hotel (retirement center) and found that my mother had fallen again the day before. 

Only this time she’d somehow managed to land partly underneath her bed.

She told my daughter that she was okay—just some rug burn on her elbow and was only a little skeevy in the mid-back area.  But my daughter thought (correctly) that I should know about it, so I went over to see what was going on.

When I got there I got the same story from my mother and the same reassurances that everything was fine.  No problemo, not to worry.  She said the nurses had checked her out and didn’t find anything broken or out of whack, so I figured everything was under control.

On Thursday I stopped by around 1:00 and found my mother changing her clothes.  She said they’d made a doctor’s appointment for her for 2:00 and she needed to get ready.  Nobody had phoned me about it so I asked the manager what was up and she said my mother had been complaining about back pain and had only sporadically been coming to the dining room for her meals. 

I’m glad I just happened to be there because sending my mother off to a doctor’s appointment under her own recognizance would be like electing Michele Bachmann president—in other words, a disaster.

So I went with her and the doctor thought her back pain was mainly from muscle spasms, so she prescribed a “non-sedative” muscle relaxant, to be given twice a day as needed and authorized a request for the physical therapist to do an evaluation.

I phoned today and the manager, Sandy, said that my mother was still having her breakfasts in her room, but she was going to try to get her to move around more and come to the dining room for her other meals. 

The jury is still out on that for the time being, so we’ll have to see.

And today, I listed her home of the last twelve years for sale.

My husband had the Herculean task of cleaning the place up to get it ready, and I have to give him kudos for a job well done. 

My mother wouldn’t let us do much (if any) cleaning for her and consequently the place, especially the kitchen, had well-worn paths of grime and sticky, bacony (if there is such a word related to bacon grease) surfaces that resisted industrial strength cleaners.  The stove and range in her kitchen ended up in the metal recycling bin at the landfill, so you can just imagine.

But he prevailed and you can see the results in the photos below.  Most of her furniture either has gone to immediate family members or was taken over to her new digs at The Hotel, so the place is a bit sparse but still pretty attractive since it reflects a lot of the charm of the 1910 era home that it is.

Click to enlarge and you can see the dents in the roof from the softball-size hail storm circa 1948.

(Click to enlarge) The Van Gogh "Sunflowers" on the wall is crewel needlework that I did for my mother for Christmas 1970. (No way would I have the patience to do that now.)

(Click to enlarge) The two oil paintings here in the kitchen were done by talented friends of my mother's.

(Click to enlarge) The oil painting on the left is one my mother did and the watercolor on the right (kind of obscured by the reflection) is one I did of my parents' last home together in Laguna Beach, CA.