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    What would you do if you had to put your life on hold to take care of your parents?

    Covert Nursing Action!

    My Aunt Joyce, my mom's home caregiver was seventeen years younger than my Mother. She is only seven years older than me. My Aunt always called me when something was really wrong with my parents. My Aunt consistently checked on my parents a couple of days a week. This call was different.

    I was at work when my aunt called. she started

    with her report. "Your Mom has a very severe rash on her leg and it is not getting better with the calamine lotion". She explained that it looked like impetigo. My aunt had gone to nursing school earlier in her life and felt she knew what she was seeing.

    I called my husband, Crague and we both agreed to go down in the middle of the week. We would have to take a day off our jobs to solve this new problem. The first thing I needed to do was line up an in-home nurse to come with us to check out mom. Dad did not like strangers in his home. Once before I had to hire a nurse to come give mom her medications and check on her. The company would not send any more nurses. (Note: I said, 'anymore nurses previously. They had all quit due to my father's rudeness and threat to throw them out.)

    At this time in my parent's home, the living arrangements were as follows; Dad lived in one end of the house with his bathroom. His day consisted of moving from the bedroom to the bathroom. The rest of the day was on the couch watching John Wayne movies on VHS.

    Mom slept in the master bedroom suite and by now had forgotten how to cook or why to cook. She wandered around the house and spent much time in the yard. I suspected this is probably were she got the infection. The rash had been left untreated for a while when we had been summoned home. It had become real severe by the time my aunt got to see it.

    We made our plan. Crague and I met the nurse in a nearby town about fifteen minutes from my parents home. We plotted out our course of action. Our plan was for the nurse to remain at the front door, while inside the house, Crague and I tagged teamed Mom and Dad. Crague's plan was to get Dad to the patio and I was to sneak the nurse in thru the front door and have mom's leg examined. We planned to get mother help - the rest was uncharted.

    The plan was going well, Mom, due to her Alzheimer's was little confused and insisted nothing was wrong. I assured her that we were there to doctor her leg. The nurse had all the needed supplies and we went to mom's bedroom. The nurse said that it looked like impetigo and she would do what she could but mom probably really needed a shot of penicillin. She cleaned, decontaminated the wound, which covered most of her calf and half of her foot. I was amazed mom had been coping with the itching that must have accompanied the infection. When Mom's leg and foot was bandaged, it looked like she had a war wound.

    It wasn't long before dad suspected that something was going on in the house behind his back. Crague tried to detain him but Dad came into the bedroom and asked what was this strange person doing in his home. I did my best to explain that Aunt Joyce called and said mom needed medical attention.

    In the past, dad would not let Aunt Joyce take mom to the doctor. I believe he was afraid it would be the last time he see his wife. Dad was very proud man. He felt it was his responsibility to keep her safe. With that being said my dad also was very jealous of anyone paying attention to her. He also displayed envy if I spent more time with her than I did him. When we visited, I had to visit each equally, Crague and I were a tag team. because we could not visit them together. Crague would talk to dad on the patio and I would visit mom in her bedroom. Then we would switch. It was like musical chairs.

    The nurse was feeling very uncomfortable, even though we had briefed her of the situation. I was trying to explain and show Dad the wound that Mom had on most of her calf and foot. Now the next phase was about to unfold.

    Mom needed her dressings changed every day. By this time in her decline, Mom had lost the ability to remember to bath or recall if she had bathed. Her mind was in a constant state of confusion. Through Medicare, a nurse could come several time a week. My Aunt Joyce would fill in the gaps. I had to get back to my full time job and try to forget that my parents were in need of full time help.

    I had discussed Assisted living and had researched many options for them. But the concept of leaving their home was a mute issue and fell on deaf ears. Mom was beyond understanding and Dad wanted to die in his home.

    I guess I can look back at this story and laugh at how we created a covert plan to sneak someone into my parents home, perform the needed task. We just did not execute the exit plan very well.

    Ponder: Have you ever been faced with an issue with your parents? You knew what needed to be done, but how do you get from the issue to the solution.

    Aging and losing one's independence is one of the hardest issues one had to face at the end of their life. Having walked through this opportunity with my own parents, I am planning on my own care due to the problems I have seen in my family.

    Assisted Living places have facilities have accommodations for both the parent that needs 24/7 care and the other parent can leave on-site in their own apartment within the same facility. Meals, house cleaning, laundry and entertainment are many of the perks. Remember to take the time to do the research to find the perfect forever home.