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Stand Up For Your Elderly Parents

Updated on October 22, 2013

My Mom Whom I loved

Crisis Comes Without Warning

In another one of my articles, I told you about my mother and the shepherd that I had seen a long the road. This is what I did not tell you in that article. This one is about the 5 years of devotion, love, and compassion for a stroke and heart victim. I think where my mom could have been, if I had not fought for her like she fought for me, when I was a small child. Mother was a very loving parent, and that does not mean she was a push over. She was very strict on me as a child, but her love was abounding. She always held my hand and fed me, and made my clothes and did everything a mother could do for her children. She raised two little girls and was one of a family of 8 children. I was the oldest child, and that made me the responsible party to determine what would happen or not happen for mother.

The day mother had a stroke my children were definitely affected, and not to mention what it did to my own mother. My own daughter found her in the bathroom speaking strange words and her face twisted and not responding to our voice. I called 911 and mother was sent to hospital after she was treated. The doctor in the emergency room said, "your mom had a mild stroke and thanks to the medicine she was administered, then she is going to be all right." She came out of the inability to communicate and she tore out her IV line. The nurse did not tell us she did that, and we found a lot of blood hidden under her sheet. We were shocked, because before they let us go back to see her, then they had already sedated mother and had pulled the stroke medications. I had no idea that night that sedating her caused them not to see mother was going to have a major stroke that caused her not to speak nor intake food or liquids. Why I asked myself did they do this? The actions they took caused my mother's life to be in jeopardy. Mother was around 75 then.

Mother was taken to a hospital about thirty miles from where she went into the first hospital. They determined mother had a stroke, because she had a heart valve that was faulty. It had had caused a clot to be thrown to her brain and the result was a stroke. That hospital gave her excellent care, but I cannot say that for the hospital that let my mom have a massive stroke. That could have been prevented I think, but it was more important to sedate someone and pull the stroke medications off them without further preventing another stroke. It left mom without the ability to communicate and that was the hardest thing to see her like that. I knew that I had to be there for her like she was for me.

The hospital finally moved her to a nursing home, and to them I will be honest my mom was a vegetable waiting to die. They had no idea of rehab or anything. She was strolled to an area that had an outside enclosed garden area where my mother was exposed to someone smoking, and she immediately went into respiratory stress. I told them to do something to help her that she was having problems breathing. The nurses started to run the other way, and I had to demand they do something and stay on them until she did. I remember standing int he corner of her room and waiting and praying. I remember my own daughter went over and took her hand and said Nana come back. We love you, and you fight this. The nurses instead of trying to help her were going to look for paper work to find out, if they were to help her to breath. They were looking for a paper mind you to say yes or no. I am saying the whole time that you are to do something. She had no such paper to say do not revive her. I honestly think, if we had not prayed and held her hand that she would not have come out of it. That day those nurses learned that I meant business. I was not going to see this happen to this lady like this. Smoking should never been there in the first place. The male nurse finally came in and gave her some oxygen and she recovered the incident. They also did not check on their patients very much at all. I was horrified with that care.

I had my mother transferred to another facility, and in that facility they put her in one that did just as bad, if not worse than the first. I was her surrogate and was called in on her meetings for planning. They talked about my mom being violent and they could get her arrested. Mother showed me how the nurses there had grabbed her by the collar and snatched her around. All she had to do was show me. I found out mother was swinging at the nurses, because they were unaware of her pain. She had a gall stone lodged in or near her pancreatic duct. It was about a 1 and a half inch large marble size. I told them to send mother to the doctor that I knew something was definitely wrong and she was in pain and did not want to be touched. I kept complaining until finally they did send her to a doctor. They found out what was wrong, and it took two months to extract it from her body by way them going down her throat and taken a tool to grab it and remove it. Thank goodness over the two months that it took to take it out, then she was alive and not dead. Again I had to be there and help her fight this. She was able to use her body language for me to understand what was wrong. These are thing things that are important. Never leave your parent in a nursing home and walk away without checking on them and making sure they are safe and not threatened. When she was gone to the doctor to have this removed, someone stole her painting my daughter had made her of Sunflowers. My daughter had placed it on her wall as a gift of her love to her grandmother. The painting never turned up. I think the staff of that facility how dishonest and cruel they were to my mother. This precious little lady that spent her life loving me.

I decided this placement was totally wrong, and they ended up putting her in an assisted living facility which was even worse. She could not take care of herself. She was on a feeding tube, could not communicate, and in a wheel chair. She could not walk either. I had to call in an Ombudsman to advocate for her and finally she was moved 18 miles from where I lived but hopefully that would be a better place. I have to say most of the time that it was better, but again still not perfect. Over the course of a year she regained the ability to feed herself , came off a feeding tube, talked a few words, and was up attempting to walk on the bars in therapy.
That was improvement and I stayed active in her development and as a surrogate I never stopped watching over her., I urge you to take care of your parents, because you do not know the horror stories of what can and does happen to them behind unseen closed doors.

I had to report body sores in which the flesh came off her and turned block on her toes. No one was watching how she had to sit in wheel chair, and that had to be treated with a mother who also had diabetes. I had to report it within the facility for lack of proper care. they immediately started to look at appropriate care for her toes. Thanks to my due diligence mother did not lose her foot to infection.

One of the worse incidents over the 5 years mother as in the facility was a report I had that mother was in emergency room with a massive hematoma under her arm pit the size of a grapefruit and they did not think she was going to make it. I had to call in the state and report this, because the medical staff thought mother had been hit by someone under her arm pit. An investigation was attempted and the male nurse in charge of her was avoiding police and the state. The nursing facility kept him away from everyone so that no one could question him. I found out later that someone who worked there told my sister that someone had dropped my mother on a lift, and that is why she had massive grapefruit sized hematoma under her arm.
Mother was removed from the facility and sent to one that was further away for her protection.
She was secure there for some time, but I think what happened to her in that nursing home caused her body to weaken. I had to move and transfer my duty as surrogate to my sister and her family to care for mom in that nursing home with me on call in the distance for her finances and her dual surrogate care.

I got a call one day that mother had to be sent to hospital, and she was not eating again. They said something was not right and the hospital doctor told me that the CAT scan said she was not showing a problem. She was returned to the nursing home and they called once more, and told me that she was not eating and this was the third day. I knew something was wrong. My sister had her transferred to hospital near her, and there the doctor told us my mother had only 20 % of her brain left and she had pneumonia. That was a far thing from nothing wrong and sending her back to a nursing facility 24 hours before. I was being told my mother was needed to be left to die. I did not want to see that happen, but I was given no option by the time I got there. They had already pulled her IV liquids or saline and all nourishment from her. She was being starved to death as I saw it, and even though I saw her move her head toward my voice like she knew I was there, and it mattered not this time.Mother knew I was there. I knew mother was at a point that she could not survive this. My oldest son and I sat with her threw the night, and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do was to allow her to die this way. It took 13 days of no food or life giving substance for her body to give up and die. I called pastors in to pray for her. I know that was absolutely the hardest thing to endure in my life. The lady I had loved that loved me was dying little by little and minute by minute over the course of 13 whole days. I called the nurse in charge of Hospice, and she said mother did not feel anything and I am thinking how in the heck can you say that. You are not my mother, and it is not your body going through this. No one knows how it feels to them. All I can say is please take care of the ones you love and be there to watch over them as much as you can. Facilities do not care like you do about your family members. My mother was a fighter and had worked hard to come back on many occasions before this last event, and making that decision was the hardest ever in my life to do. We buried my mother at 80 years of age and on January 2nd, 2007. I can say my mother was given every chance to make it with her life, and to be with those that loved her even on visits. We all spent time doing that for mom. She would have done it for us, and we know that. I shall never forget my mother, because she is living with my Lord, Jesus and in heaven with all the ones that came before her to be loved by him. So my mom is now in my heart for always and always.


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    • ladybluewriter profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from United States

      FlourishAnyway - My mother would never have made it for 5 years without my love for her. She was there for me every time I was hurt or sick, and it was the least I could do for her. If I could have met her medical needs any other way to keep her alive, then she would never have gone in a nursing home. In Oklahoma they got a failing grade. In Florida I would also say that you better watch them or they can be a victim of poor care and criminal activities done to them. So today I let everyone know that you can make a difference for them. Do not ever dump them, and never find out what is happening with them. They need that love and support.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      This is heartbreaking, and thank God you were there to advocate for her. It makes me want to never allow my own parents to see the inside of one of those places. Bless you, sweet lady, for the care you gave to her.

    • ladybluewriter profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from United States

      It seems odd to see now our state in trouble in protecting the elderly. There have been some cases involved with deaths of patients in their care, and now they want to say the state deserves an F , and it is in real trouble. People are taking their elderly relatives out. I know what I went through and it was not out in the South West, but it was in the East. I think of how many times my mother tried to let me know she was in trouble and could not speak. Watch over your elderly family members.

    • ladybluewriter profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from United States

      I would like to clarify my feelings on this topic, and why I see you might think like that John. You are absolutely correct in your statement about the bonding with my parents. I know this is so, because I also adopted two children of which their parents never bonded with them at all. One of the set of parents I knew and the other set I did not and will never know. I was raised to love my parents because they committed love to me. For my father he was strong and for my mother she was the weaker and the

      sicklier one that had to be cared for many times over. I also took in a guy at 28 after the loss of my oldest son and he did not have a good family situation in his life. He would not to this day stand by his mom. However, he is now seeing that love was given to me is coming back to him and even though his own mother never gave it. IF you were one of those who in life never bonded, then you would definitely have a cause to not want to be there for them. I learned a long time ago that life is no bed of roses. Thank you John for bringing this to my attention.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Your admonition to take care of your elderly parents only applies to people who bonded with their parents. You shouldn't assume everyone has the relationship with their parents that you did with yours.

    • ladybluewriter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      When we go to hospitals and to nursing facilities with our family members, then we need to have a watchful eye on protecting them and their rights. Everyone does not have the same values in care giving, because they do not see them as their family member. Some are in it for dedication and compassion and some for the dollar, and to heck with the patient in need.

    • thebluestar profile image

      Annette Donaldson 

      7 years ago from Northern Ireland

      What a beautiful lady your mum was, those eyes are so sad but stunning.It is heart wrenching to think that any of our elderly relatives could be in a position of neglect. As a care giver myself I am glad to say that all my "little ones" are well cared for. But it is a sad fact of life that people do not have the same amount of time to give to others in this world now and we have lost a lot of our souls because of it.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Caring for our aging and dying parents is an experience in which we both give and take. I pray that you take the good memories of better days with your mother and be encouraged.

    • danielleantosz profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful and heartbreaking.


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