Settling in to Trinity Gardens
Mom fell again. She looks like she has been in a fight; her eyes are black and blue and she has a big bruise on the side of her face. They said she tried to stand up and fell face forward and hit the end of the bed. Of course this meant another ambulance trip to the emergency room and an MRI of her head. (She went three times when she was at Atria) She checked out OK, but needed twenty stitches for the gash in her head.
When Trinity Gardens called to tell me about the fall, I was suffering from a bout of food poisoning and didn’t know how I was going to be able to make it to the ER. Thankfully, hospice was called and between the hospice nurse and a caregiver from Trinity Gardens who drove over to be with her, all was well. My reservations I had about whether or not to keep my mother on hospice quickly vanished. I was reassured that she would be taken care of in an emergency.
My mother seems to like Trinity Gardens. After I left her there the first time, I wondered if I had made the right decision. Atria had activity, and residents were moving around, even if it was with their walkers. Here, a circle of recliners or couches is arranged around a large TV screen, and the residents sit there most of the day sleeping or watching television. I soon realized, being with a more active group could not help my mother. Her dementia had made it harder to interact with others and she needed to just sit for most of the day. This is where she is mentally at this period of time. I wonder if being around residents who were able to converse with each other easily, might actually have been frustrating for my mother. She tried so desperately to make sense when she talked, but most of the time she didn’t.
My worry that my mother would object to sharing a room came to nothing. She did not complain and perhaps didn’t even realize that she didn’t have her own room. This also served to reinforce to me that my mother was not the same person she was two years, even a year ago, when she would have staunchly refused.
The caregivers at Trinity Gardens are kind and genuinely caring people.
When she first moved in everyone remarked, “Your mother is so sweet.”
“ You haven’t seen her when she gets upset, when she doesn’t want to do something,” I said.
Two days after she had been there I went for a visit. “You were right,” Zairita, one of the caregivers, said, “Now I’ve seen her other side. She can be feisty.”
I laughed. This actually made me feel better. I knew then that the mother I’d known all my life, the one with the strong will and independent spirt, was still in there somewhere and wanted to be heard.