This had to happen sooner or later. My mom's in the hospital after having fallen at her home the other night. She managed to pull herself to the phone to get the ambulance there, and for now she's ok. It was a combination of low blood sugar, bad circulation, and not being able to see.
Obviously, the current situation of her living independently can't continue. We don't have room at our place for another person, and if we did, I don't think we can provide the proper care. She lives about 100km away. I can't make that commute every day on reduced work hours to stay overnight-every night. As it is now, it seems like all I do when I'm up there is take care of her dog and the two cats. That's going to change. We either find the dog a new home or it's going on its last journey. The dog is 14 and has health problems. It might be time for her, at any rate. The cats are a pain, but cats require a lot less attention-change the litter box and set out dry food and water.
There are some home care services available, and we might explore that option for a few weeks, along with the ever-popular 'I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up' emergency call bracelet to ring up 911 if there's a problem. But she's admitted that overnights bother her now that my stepfather is not there to help.
The rest of the family is ready for her to go to a nursing home. I hate the thought of it, but I have to concur with them. There aren't enough of me to do everything that needs to be done for her to live by herself. My aunt ( her sister) helps with the animals, but she has a semi-invalid husband and a son that just got out of the hospital and is staying with them. She doesn't need one more thing to deal with.
Is this the right decision? With monotonous regularity these days, I find my answer to be "I don't fucking know". I rather feel like I'm sentencing someone to a slow death, but I can't guarantee anything better.
I hope for those of you out there with older relatives, they've helped you make helping them much easier. If not, you've a long row to hoe.