Because of short-term memory loss, every seventh day or so Bea forgets her bedridden state. My mother will throw off her blanket or comforter in a desperate effort to rise, a plan foiled by the side rails on her hospital bed. The mixer Bea’s mind has become blends actual experience with dreams. She really thinks mobility to be an option.
“Help me get up,” Bea demands. “They need me in the next room.”
“You can’t get up,” I tell her gently. “You haven’t walked for five months.”
“Of course I have! I walked back and forth today.”
At 96 ½, it is hard to accept being bedridden, perhaps because implicit is the fact that the end of life is approaching. The caregiver needs to take into account the distress immobility can produce and stand ready to empathize.
I am so grateful that the team from Hospice & Palliative Care of Cape Cod is an available resource as I navigate the murky waters of my mother’s extreme old age. Should I have a question, I know a quick phone call will probably resolve it. Bea’s comfort is their main concern. When Lisa or Nurse Jane leaves, Bea is ensconced in the nest her bed has become, clean, and happy. As her caregiver, I feel empowered by the visit, flush with the moral support it provides. Thank you, Hospice & Palliative Care!