We arrived home a little while ago, with much still hanging in the air with my parents. This morning, Daughter set about packing all of our dirty clothes into the bigger of our two suitcases. I don't allow her to pack clean clothes, but I will allow her to take care of the dirty ones. I reminded her that she needed to pack things down into the corners (the suitcase is a large, duffel type bag on wheels). She was frustrated, "I know!"
I was packing things out in the living area, and went in to check on her progress. She was trying to zip the suitcase, but without much luck. She had all the clothes piled high in the center. I assigned her a different task and proceeded to push things down into the corners and zip the suitcase up with no problem.
We have continued to struggle with what to do with Mom and Dad. Mom is getting stronger, and Dad is getting weaker. Of course, that's the opposite of what was supposed to happen with Mom on hospice, but life and death are always unpredictable. Part of the challenge is that we don't know if Mom will continue to improve and Dad will improve at all. So Far Away Sister and I have hatched a new scheme. We're going to get them both into the same nursing home for rehab. Dad's congestive heart failure is such that he could easily be hospitalized, which would give him nursing home rehab with Medicare. Hopefully Mom's discharge was recent enough that we can do the same for her.
This will give us time to evaluate how they are going to do, determine if they can sure a room without Mom driving Dad crazy (or vice versa), and to explore other options for their living arrangements. It's so hard trying to figure out what's best for them and consider the long term implications of various decisions. Earlier this week we were leaning toward one live-in aide taking care of them both in the same apartment. Now we're wondering if one person could handle them. There are no easy answers. We just want to do right by them and make sure they are safe and receiving appropriate care and support. I'm concerned that the lunches where they currently are living aren't appropriate for someone on a low sodium diet. On Sunday there are two options on the menu: fried bologna or BLT. Either one would add a pound of fluid to Dad's already swollen body.