Should we strike while the iron is hot or give her a while to get her head around it and come to terms that its the right decision?
From my other recent posts here, you may have seen that MIL has a frequent “choking” issue when she is eating. She lives alone, carers cook her lunch and within 5 minutes of them leaving, she is struggling, presses her lifeline or calls the care company and we have to drop everything and rush down to her. Finally had another SaLT assessment last week, and although not really conclusive, the SLT said MIL appears to have a problem synchronising her breathing and swallowing mechanisms. The carers toilet her with hoist transfers at lunchtime, return her to her chair already a little breathless from the effort, and then plonk a meal in front of her and leave her to it. I have asked Social services to extend her lunchtime visit, to allow her to have someone with her, but the care company don’t have the capacity to offer this and we are limited on other choices for this locally, so stuck with the current provider.
Today, we had only just returned from dropping in her shopping and laundry this morning, when we had a call that she was choking again. Hubby went back to find she had coughed up the first few mouthfuls of her lunch, but had recovered by the time he got there. He had a long chat with her … pointed out all the things that I usually say and I always get the “choking” call being closer during the week whilst he is at work. She has told me in the past that I must think again if I have any ideas of putting her into care home. He says I always bring the worst out of her … perhaps thats true, but she needed to hear it from him as well!
He told her there is nothing left for her at home now … she cannot get out to her huge garden, which she used to love and is now going to rack and ruin, she cannot do anything for herself, so spends every day sitting in her living room alone other than her 4x daily care visits, which is not doing her any good. She rarely even puts the TV on these days, as she gets muddled with the remote buttons and messes up the settings. She can hardly read the paper as she said she cannot see it, then we remind her to put her specs on … She is so isolated, alone, unstimulated, and if eating unaccompanied, perhaps even at risk … basically she is just looking at 4 walls and waiting to die … He thinks he finally made a break through today, and when he left she said she would think about moving in somewhere … is this a false hope on our part? Should I call Social services on Monday to see what the process is as I suspect it may take a while to find a suitable space and somewhere MIL will actually accept … she has previously said she would never go into certain care homes as other members of the family (her mum, brother and husband) all passed away in different homes locally so that cuts down our options. One place she did once mention as being “lovely” when she used to visit a friend, has recently had a very bad inspection report.
I don’t want to make it sound Iike I am jumping for joy that she is coming around to the idea, but it would do her so much good the have things going on around her, company and above all be safer. We don’t want to steamroller her, but should we be making tentative enquiries, or even going to look around any likely places (without mum initially), or should we wait a bit longer to ensure she is ready for this … we don’t want to get something in place only for her to change her mind. Its something we have felt is long overdue, but we don’t want to rush and mess it up now … sorry for the long post and thanks for reading