Funny how much of a blur the last month is now that I'm trying to sit down and reflect/report on it. Surely something notable happened...
My mom has settled into her new home and usually seems like she's fairly comfortable living there. At the same time -- and this might be because I usually see her later in the day when she's tired -- her ability to communicate seems to be in steady decline. Almost every evening she tries to tell me something, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but then ends up getting incredibly frustrated with me when I just can't manage to get the gist of what she's saying. It's not always easy for me to gracefully accept her anger and frustration at me, but if I were in her shoes and having to deal with the ever increasing confusion and isolation, I bet I'd be pretty unpleasant myself.
Case in point, there are a few of my mother's fellow residents that are on the prickly side. Either they say catty things to my mom or have too much to say about what Nathan does when he's visiting or are just generally bossy. Every once in a while someone does something to raise my mama bear hackles and I don't do a very good job of biting my tongue.
Last night the residents were sitting down to watch a movie and Nathan and I were saying our goodbyes to my mom. The lady who is the self-ordained organizer of the movie nights took it upon herself to tell us that children were not allowed at the movies. We were clearly about to leave!
I should have just gritted my teeth and smiled at the cranky old lady, but this is my mother's home and it just pissed me off to have some random soul tell me that my mom's grandson is not welcome there. (Heck, I'm my mom's child, so maybe I'M not welcome either!) So I fired right back that neither I nor my child had any interest in wasting our evening with her anyway. She tried to explain that she doesn't allow adults to talk during the movies either, so I told her that she should follow her own rules and keep her mouth shut.
Yeah, not my finest moment. And ironically, since my mom is already so on edge about what the other ladies at the residence think of her, my "defense" of my mom's rights actually left her feeling more uncomfortable and embarrassed.
Oh well. We went back today for the big annual Easter brunch with a petting zoo and clowns and an egg hunt. When I saw the movie lady she smiled at us just sweet as anything, so I guess she probably doesn't even remember the incident. I'm almost positive my mom doesn't!
Oh, there were a couple of other things worth mentioning. My mom is going to be receiving an inheritance from a long lost great-uncle who invested in oil in Montana in the 1920s. Crazy, huh? I think it will probably come to less than $500, but it still makes for an interesting story.
And more significant for us financially, I'd never gotten around to starting the claims process on my mom's long-term care insurance and just the month they made us an offer to make an inflation adjustment in the coverage terms, so it actually worked out really well that I didn't make a claim earlier. That will cover our assisted living costs for another two or three years, allowing us to keep building my mom's resources. Sadly, I think by that time we'll probably be looking at the much more significant costs of a nursing home, but this gives us a little more time to prepare for that and make sure that we're prepared to apply for medicaid once all of my mom's retirement and savings are gone.
Which means that I really need to set up that appointment with an elder law attorney. It's on the to do list, so hopefully I'll be able to write about that experience in a blog post coming soon.