WELCOME Welcome to our CaringBridge website for our mother, Elsie Johnson. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. This website is being maintained by Elsie's six living children: Teresa, Susan, Janet, Rosemary, Bill and Robert.
MOM'S STATUS As you may have heard, Mom was placed on hospice status a few days ago. She had been hospitalized earlier in December after a couple of bad falls, and it was stressful and exhausting to be away from her home. Mom also has a hiatal hernia that has now developed into a paraesophageal hernia, in which a large portion of her stomach has actually moved up through the diaphragm and is pressing into the chest cavity. This condition makes it uncomfortable for Mom to eat solid food. She has been eating a bit of soup, and she drinks Ensure about 3 times a day. She drinks water, although not much. But she is comfortably resting in bed most of the time, and she is much happier to be back in her own apartment at Cherrywood. She has been peaceful. She is also grateful knowing that she will not have to be transferred back to the hospital and will remain in her own apartment.
HOW TO REACH OUT Mom doesn't answer the telephone any more, and she has been having difficulty during the past year hearing people over the telephone. So please don't call. The ringing telephone might disturb her sleep, and she's not going to pick up anyway.
We suggest that you send her a card or letter in the mail! She definitely will get her mail, and she will be able to look at what you send on her own time. Her mailing address is 10610 SE Clay, Apt. 124, Portland, OR 97216.
FaceTime video chats are also a possibility, but it's very limited. Mom won't answer a FaceTime call any more. What has worked is when Janet or Rosemary have been in the room with Mom, and they initiate the FaceTime call and hold the phone for Mom. Even then, the calls are very brief — just a minute or two — and then Mom wants to sign off and rest. If you're interested in having a FaceTime call with Elsie, please let Robert know, and he will figure out logistics and scheduling. You can send Robert a text message at 917-921-5082, or send email to email@example.com.
PLEASE DON'T VISIT IN PERSON We are restricting visitors to close family who have been maintaining a tight social bubble to minimize the possibility of Covid exposure. We have to be mindful that Mom is in an assisted living facility, and these group settings unfortunately have made the spread of Covid a very dangerous threat. Elsie is now 88 years old and in declining health; a Covid infection at this point almost certainly would be deadly. And it's not just Mom — we also need to minimize the potential exposure to Covid to Mom's caregivers, to the Cherrywood staff that work with Mom, and to her friends and neighbors who also reside at Cherrywood.
Also, in these first few days of hospice status, Mom's care schedule has been a bit unpredictable. There are hospice nurses who have to see her and evaluate her from time to time, and the hospice nurse schedule has been a bit unsettled at the beginning, not to mention the holidays. There are also Cherrywood caregivers who come in to assist with everyday care as they have been doing for more than five years. When there is a lot going on all at once, it isn't a restful environment for Mom.
Janet and Rosemary have been with Mom in shifts every day for the past several days. They are coordinating her care with Cherrywood and the hospice staff. We are grateful that Janet and Rosemary both live nearby and have been able to come in person and care for Mom.
Once we settle into more of a routine, it may be possible to schedule some visits. We will post additional information later. If you want to be considered for a visit in person, please send an email to Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org. And in the meantime, send her a card! Again, her address is 10610 SE Clay, Apt. 124, Portland, OR 97216.