Dear Carol: My mom, 79, loved being in her own home even though her physical health was declining. Her mind is exceptionally sharp so there wasn’t much I could change, especially from 800 miles away. I tried to get her to accept in-home help or move to assisted living, but she refused both. I started Meals on Wheels for her, but she canceled it. I even set up a mailed meal delivery service, but she said that the food was “overwhelming.” Last month she fell and broke her wrist, so I flew out to be with her for surgery. During her hospital stay, the doctors and the social worker complained that she was “malnourished” and laid the responsibility on me. We both explained her choices, but they kept showing me their charts rather than listening. Mom is now headed to assisted living, but the way I was treated stings. I’d have liked them to have explained just how I was supposed to force her to eat “nutritious and well-rounded meals,” but they didn’t have time for that. – HS
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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