I’m Back

Pauline Beasley

This is kind of a follow up to John’s excellent post  at Middle Earth Journal.  About 2 weeks ago my my 90 year old mother died.  She had been in home hospice for over 2 months.  I had a caregiver come in 5 hours a day but for the rest of the time I was her caregiver.  Those caregivers were not covered by medicare and it cost my sister and I about $12,000 for those two months.  Medicare did cover the Home Hospice service which was truly a blessing.  They supplied the hospital bed, wheel chair and Oxygen in addition to all medications.  In addition a bath aid came in twice a week and a nurse came in twice a week.  It was a sacrifice for me but worth it as mother died peacefully in her own home.

My mother was in good health until she was about 88.  She was still walking nearly a mile a day.  But about two years ago she had the first event that resulted in an ambulance ride.  No hospital stay but several hours in the emergency room.  After that she was slowed but not out.  She was still going for walks at our favorite park – just not as far.  There was another event about a year ago that also resulted in an ambulance ride.  That marked the end of the walks but she was still getting around the house.

Then end of October 2012 is when the real downward spiral began.  She could no longer sleep in her bed and spent all of her time in a powered recliner in the living room.  I slept on the couch next to her so I could help her to the restroom.  I called my sister and she came up from Houston.  We decided I needed some help so we called an in home care agency.  We made arrangements for a caregiver to come in and give me a break 5 hours a day.  They also suggested that we make arrangements for Home Hospice which started about two weeks later.

Over the next two months she ate less and less and systems would shut down and then start again.  She slept more and more.  On the Monday before she passed away she went to sleep in the evening and never really woke up until she died on Friday.  To be honest there was very little grieving.  I was told that my grieving process had probably started 2 months before and was almost finished.  I do miss the caregivers who had become part of the family-I had the same 3 for most of the 2+ months.

I can’t say enough about the caregivers and the Home Hospice team.  My sister said it well “until I met these people I didn’t know there was that much empathy in the world.”

So I should be back posting soon.

12 Comments

  1. Ron,
    I’m sorry to hear about your mother. She was lucky to have such a loving and dedicated son.

  2. My sincere condolences, Ron.

    Having gone through similar experiences with my 93-year-old (when she passed away) mother-in-law a decade ago, I believe I know what you have gone through.

    I say “believe” because no two persons’ grief is ever the same.

  3. Ron i am sorry to hear of your mother’s death. Thanks for posting your experience and pictures these final months of caring for your mother…

    I know the love and goodness is deep and enduring. May your Mom rest in peace. May you know comfort and peace.

  4. So sorry, Ron. Take care of yourself, now. We know, but it never helps, that even though the physical trials are over for the caregiver, the emotional cares linger and change. Thanks for letting us help you share the burden.

  5. Very sorry about your loss Ron. By all accounts you’ve been a loving son who stepped up. No parent could ask for more.

  6. Ron, sincere condolences for your loss.

  7. I am sorry for your loss Ron. Take care of yourself.

  8. Mr. Beasley,

    Sincere condolences for our loss of a loved one.

    “Our deeds are seeds of fate, sown here on earth, but bring forth their harvest
    in eternity”.

    Old Cowboy saying

  9. I’m sorry to hear of your mother’s death, Ron. I’m sure the last two years have been difficult. But you and your sister’s care for her says a great deal about the kind of mother she was.

  10. Dear Ron; again and always, may your mom cavort in happiness however she sees fit, may you be supported in all that comes now, especially all the best of your elder’s ways ethically, culturally, and in depth that you might carry forward.

    take care,
    dr.e

  11. Ron, the highest test of man’s goodness and his humanity is to do the work you have done. I suspect, you are a reflection of your mother’s ethics and a testimony to her character. Sincere condolences.

  12. Ron — Your mother was clearly a remarkable person who leaves remarkable, caring children. Heartfelt condolences to you and your sister in your loss.

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