Mom’s friend from church called this afternoon. She began by asking if I had talked to anyone at Woodland Terrace lately. I told her that I called them or they called me just about every day. She wanted to know if I knew anything about progress with mom’s application for Medicaid because the night nurse told her that mom had been approved to see a psychiatrist.

I explained to her that Shelly had told me she’d talked to Dr. Oh and he agreed to see mom even though her Medicaid status was still pending. Mom’s friend from church said she thought it was good that it was Dr. Oh because they at least have a history together.

Here are the notes I wrote during our thirty-minute phone call:

  • mom is completely “non-communicative” now
  • she visited mom yesterday and brought her some “house dresses” so she’d “be presentable in the common room at least”
  • her “normal mode” now seems to be just non-stop up-down, up-down; she is constantly standing up in her wheelchair and then sitting down again, exhausted, almost immediately
  • she seemed to like one of the three dresses more than the other two, but didn’t really express anything
  • every time she sees mom, she tries to get her to talk
  • she believes if mom “dug deep and tried, she’d say something”; for example, mom got her wheelchair wedged between her bed and the dresser and mom’s friend said, “You got in there. You can get out of there if you ask me for help.” About five or six minutes later, mom very quietly said, “Help.”
  • “there’s something behind this”; hoping Dr. Oh knows how to get her off this point
  • this weekend Nurse Dawn told her that Woodland Terrace was not a mental rehabilitation center
  • she can’t seem to get a straight answer when asking whether mom is getting regular physical therapy
  • she doesn’t necessarily put a lot of stock in Dr. Oh, but hoping that he has an idea of how we got in this place now
  • the last couple of times she’s visited, she’s tried a different tactic each time to try to get her “out of it”
  • asked two different nurses if she is walking, can she take care of her personal needs (bathroom, shower, etc.) and they both said they didn’t know; the nurses didn’t think mom is self-aware enough to do that
  • Mom is “most agitated when her diaper needs to be changed, yet she won’t vocalize it.” She talks to mom about it, “but it doesn’t seem to matter.”
  • It’s “mind-boggling and frustrating at the same time,” because, “she’s not doing anything to help herself.”
  • Mom’s friend questioned Dr. Oh’s bedside manner, but added, “He was the one who really felt like your mom’s dementia was depression-related.” But at least he was familiar with her before she “went down to this level.”
  • She said she was going to see if she could get down to see mom this evening, and if she does she’ll let me know.
  • I asked her if she would let me talk to mom on her cell phone if she does make it down there, and she said she would try to call me, yes. She said sometimes mom is not cooperative and sometimes she is.
  • She asked me if I was planning on any trips to Florida again this year.
  • I asked her if she knew if mom was receiving the letters and photos I’ve been sending. She said that there was a box of letters next to her bed, the most recent letter was always on her bedside table waiting to be read to her, and there is a bulletin board next to her bed full of photos.
  • She said most of the CNAs visit mom in twos and threes, because her grip is amazingly strong and “she’ll pull you down.”
  • Most of the time mom is just up-down, up-down; when you go visit her, if she’s awake, she’s parked next to a nurse because she won’t just sit still in her wheelchair. If she was doing it with a goal, it would be good exercise. She said that an RN or LPN is the only one available to keep their eyes on her.
  • Mom’s friend said that she got the “distinct impression” that someone thought when she left the last time — when they sent her to Fish Memorial for the day — that she wouldn’t be coming back; they took everything off the walls. But everything is back now.
  • Except for her constant agitated state, she’d be on level with who is already there; one nurse said she thinks mom should be in an “Alzheimers lockdown unit”, because if she had more of her senses together, she could “roll on out of there”.
  • She said that she would love to get mom “across the street” at the Towers, which is more like a dormitory. She said the Towers is “a very nice facility,” and it is literally across the street from Woodland Terrace. She said that getting her there would be a great thing to shoot for, but, “I don’t think your mom is thinking more than five minutes into the future.”
  • I told her that I would call first thing tomorrow morning to see what Dr. Oh might have said today or yesterday, since I was told he would be visiting mom but hadn’t heard anything from anyone at Woodland Terrace yet.