I will never forget the day I became the guardian for my mother. A power of attorney form that states I am in charge of her. Her life, her assets, her money, her future. I decide her well being. But its so much more than that, so much harder. I decide in the morning what clothes she wears, what she eats for breakfast. I am her Mother now. That was about 2 years ago, and I never envisioned these decision being as hard as they are. Mom visits a memory home 3 days a week. A day stay program. An Alzheimers care home. People live there, and people come and go. She calls it "school" and gets excited to see her "friends". She has made a close friendship with an Australian lady named Hilary. Hilary has alzheimers and lives there. Mom is younger of course. She think it is her job, and it is her right to think so. She feels needed, and eager to help. She is comfortable in her surrounding. Everyone calls her Miss Nancy. She brings artwork to show her friends, and the smiles light up the room. She is a part of something again, as when she was a teacher. She has been attending 3 days a week and now we decide if its the right time to move her in.
There is a nice one bedroom, she would be safe, and I could visit her as much as i liked. I could cook with her and watch movies. I can take her out and go to cinema and museums. I struggle with two burdens. Finance is the first. It is very very expensive. We could live in a penthouse apartment on the beach in Hawaii for the price it will cost to move mom in here...(laugh and daydream:)
second, is it Time?. Is it time for her to live here? Is it an easy way out for me to go on with my life? I struggle with our day to day, I dress her, and change her, she wets her pants, i change her clothes, i make her lunch, I do her laundry and clean the house, and buy the groceries, and pay the bills, and brush her hair, and wash her hair, and groom her and bath her and help her change her clothes. I buy her meds, and take her to doctors. I tell jokes and I sing and she laughs and those moments are a blessing. She is still Mom. I hug her and she is my mother for a squeeze. Then I go back to being her guardian. I want so many things for her, as a mother would want for a child. To travel, to retire, to play with grandchildren. Could I give her the best life moving her into the care home for over $6,000 an month? Yes, thats how much it is. Is that the answer?
I struggle sometimes with whats "socially" accepted. What would benefit her? Her happiness is in my hands. And believe me, I want nothing more than for her to never be sad, or afraid, or not cared for. I never ever want her to feel lost. I feel lost. I am her Guardian. But who is mine?