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This summer Sheilah, my mom, moved to Minnesota to live close by and receive the help she needed in memory care at a lovely new spot with wonderful staff. Elk Ridge was and is a blessing as initially we had mom going to assisted living that was not successful due to her memory issues. I have enjoyed even though this seems it will be brief having mom near me.
Before leaving New Hampshire, Louise gave mom a wonderful send off with friends and family. New Hampshire and Louise and Claude's home had been moms home for over 16yrs now since our father Brian had passed away in 2002. Mom an amazing asset and matriarch for most of those years. The last 4 to 5 years and increasingly so, Mom has needed us due to her vascular dementia continuing to advance. With this discussion of more care being needed my husband, Paul and I elected to have mom close to us to spend time in her twilight years ahead with her along with Jacquie and Nathan.
On Friday, August 23rd, I received a call from one of the nurses at Elk Ridge, that they needed to call 911. Mom was in an altered state and unresponsive. Some of what actually caused this is unknown but more of an educated opinion.
We believe mom aspirated and lost consciousness. For about 8 hours that was how things were. Than she just was awake and Mom again. Tests were not helping us at this point of explaining things. So we thought this was to be just an overnight for observation. Saturday as they were planning discharge mom was not looking great so they elected for her to stay longer. Saturday afternoon and into the evening things changed and moms lungs were filling with fluid. The medical team quickly got mom comfortable with the use of diuretics, starting oxygen, and antibiotics.
On Monday a video swallow study was performed and unfortunately the results personally devastating. Mom failed on all levels with any type of substance to effectively swallow without aspirating. Age and her dementia have taken this away. Our family quickly navigating what this meant going forward needed to make some challenging choices. If Mom does recover at all from this event it will happen again no matter what we do.
Hospice services have been chosen and this coming Saturday mom will transition back to Elkridge with hospice assisting the staff. 0ur days, weeks or months ahead will be to keep mom comfortable and provide comfort feeding as she is able and wants to and hoping perhaps windows of quality time together.
Paul and I have spent a considerable amount of time side by side this week and spending time with Mom, along with navigating the details with the doctors and memory unit. It truly hurts to see her in so much discomfort. We were blessed that as we left Sunday evening, she called out I Love you Paul! It brings me great comfort that despite my mom's memory issues she knows and loves my husband. That is a gift she will be leaving us.
Louise will be arriving Saturday along with my niece Daniel. Claude and my nephew Brian will arrive sometime mid next week. All to spend sometime with Sheilah as their schedules permit them.
Please keep Sheilah in your prayers along with our families.