Sunday, December 14, 2008

Moving Grandma: Plan B

Grandmothers are wonderful, sweet, tender loving people. When a family turns to me to help them with their grandmother, I always think about my grandmothers.

"Marcella" had downsized from her home to a small apartment a couple years ago, and the time had come for her to move into an assisted living facility. Living alone, lack of socialization and her dementia led the family to this decision. Marcella was quite happy about it. She was getting scared and confused being alone. Her family was worrisome, too.

We spent a few hours choosing the best clothes to move to Marcella's new home, consolidating boxes of pictures and letters, and clearing out the kitchen. Marcella was smiling about donating her clothes and other household items. She was even go through items on her own that needed to be tossed.

The plan was Marcella to have breakfast with a daughter while we moved her things to her new home and have all her things put away with her favorite nick-knacks in place.

On the morning of the move, Marcella was found in her bathtub. She could not get out and had spent about 12 hours alone unable to reach a towel or phone. Cold and disoriented, her granddaughter got her dressed and under the covers of her bed to warm up.

Quickly we came up with Plan B: Marcella seemed OK, though we just were not certain. The family ended up taking her to the ER for evaluation. They had me continue to work in Marcella's new home getting all her items put away.

Turns out she was a bit dehydrated from not eating and drinking properly. Luckily, the night spent in the tub has not caused any serious problems. After a couple days in the hospital, she is now enjoying her new home.

Please take the time at your family gatherings to make sure your older loved ones feel safe and secure in their home. With our children, we speak about scenarios for fire and weather safety drills. Perhaps it is time for your family to discuss the game plan for reacting to a situation with your older family members.

Whom in your family may need a plan B?

1 comment:

SOUL: said...

just came by to let ya know i'm still breathin
i'll get a pic of slothy man up tomorrow.
hoe y'all are doin good and gettin ready for christmas.
take is easy
latah babay