I live next door to my grandparents, in a house they used to rent out to people. I cook for them and watch my grandmother sometimes when Grandpa needs to go somewhere. Grandmother suffers from dimentia, and it seems to be getting worse. She still loves music, and can still pick tunes out on a harmonica. She loves to listen to it, too, it soothes her...this painting reminded me of my grandparents, especially the title, "A Moment of Comfort." Grandpa does the best he can to take care of her, but it's getting harder for him. My husband often has to go next door to help him pick my grandmother up off the floor or get her from one place to another. It's tough.
My father has convinced my grandfather that it's time Grandmother be put in a nursing home. She needs constant supervision and care. Grandfather, of course, did not want to have to resort to this, understandably, but I know he realizes he can't give her the care she needs alone. Today he had a scare that probably confirmed he made the right decision.
My father, who is usually around to help when Grandpa needs it, was in San Antonio with my mom and brother, when Grandma started acting strange. She seemed to be going in and out of consciousness, and seemed to be in pain. Grandpa called a nurse, but she was about an hour away, so in the meantime my husband and I went over. I could see that Grandpa was very worried about her. My brother-in-law, JJ, arrived a while later. He's a fireman with some EMC training, so he tried to check her pulse, etc. The nurse arrived soon after. We discovered that she hadn't eaten since breakfast, and it was nearly dinner time. She probably had low blood sugar or something similar and ran out of gas, so to speak. The nurse asked if there was some applesauce or something to feed her, but the best thing Grandpa could find was chocolate pudding. After she ate a bit, she seemed to perk up.
So, at least at a nursing home, Grandma will have meals ready on time, and hopefully they will be a bit healthier than what she's used to at home. (Frozen pot pies, orange soda, sour cream donuts, and Little Debbie snacks!) She'll also have immediate medical care available instead of having to wait an hour or so for a nurse. I hope Grandpa feels a little more at ease knowing she'll be taken care of, and while I know he'll miss her at night, I hope he'll find a moment of comfort for himself.
On behalf of both of my grandparents, I offer a prayer from St. Augustine for them and for all the sick.
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight, and give your angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest your weary ones.
Bless your dying ones.
Soothe your suffering ones.
Pity your afflicted ones.
Shield your joyous ones.
And for all your love's sake. Amen.