Saddest day of my life

Interior Health finally called Friday and they had a bed for Mum. I had to get her in right away or lose the spot. After the fiasco with Hawthorne, where she attempted to get out of the car while we were driving there, I didn't think I could go through that experience again. I thought about having my sister take her in Sunday, but I knew she couldn't handle it. If she freaked when Mum reacted the way I knew she would, then we would lose our spot and go to the bottom of the list, and it would be another eight months.

There's just no way I could tell Mum the truth, so I had no choice but to lie to her. She has been experiencing a lot of pain lately with the sciatic nerve problem, so I thought I might pull off saying that I was taking her in to the doctors. I wanted the care facility to understand what I was doing, so I went there first to talk to the staff. I set it up that I would bring Mum in at 11:30; they would meet me and take Mum, and then I would leave under some lame excuse. I would come back later with her stuff.

She bought the doctor story, so I managed to get there at least. When we buzzed the intercom at the front door, someone came on and gave me the keypad combo to get into the safe area. I headed for the desk where I had met the lady earlier. No one around. Not a sole. I could see Mum was getting suspicious about where she was, so I went to sit her in a chair out of the way while I panicked looking for staff. An older gentlemen came up and asked, "how do I get out of here. I have to get out!" That really calmed Mum - not! Then Mum had to go the bathroom, so we started wandering around where I didn't want to go. A housekeeping person asked what I was looking for and when I told her a washroom, said, "oh, her room is ready. She can go in there." Shit! "Her room"? What room? I figured that would set her off, but she missed it. Thank God. I knew I only had a few minutes to find someone, so I asked one of the cleaning staff to find someone, and now!

The lady I spoke with earlier finally showed up and said she was sorry, she had been tied up upstairs. I told Mum I had to go back to the car for something, and left.

I was only home a few minutes when the phone rang. The caller ID showed that it was Windsor Manor, so I assumed they needed me for something urgent. To my horror, when I answered the phone, it was Mum, demanding to know where she was, what she was doing in this place, and to come and get her now! I asked to speak to the lady we met earlier, and Mum had no clue who this was. Luckily the lady was looking for her, so she took the phone. She was surprised that Mum had found a phone and remembered her number to call. I told her this was tough enough without Mum calling me. A few minutes later and yet another call from Mum, this one demanding I come and get her right now! I let it go to the answering machine.

I put her stuff together and went back on my third trip to the care centre. I called the girl who failed to meet me the first time, and told her I was not coming into the building because Mum might see me, so she agreed to meet me in the parking lot, which she did. She said they had found someone to sit with Mum and that she was doing better. When I asked about the phone, she said Mum had found one in the kitchen and the staff there didn't know she wasn't to use it.

Very stressful day - one of the worst. Knowing that Mum needs this care now, and that I have to get a job to survive and the house will be sold soon, and Mum had to go somewhere, doesn't relieve the major guilt I'm feeling. Knowing that Mum will not be coming back here, after calling it home for thirty years, is truly sad. And I know "beggars can't be choosers", but the place they have her in is for people much worse than Mum. I was hoping she would actually find friends and do some activities, and learn to enjoy it, but they have her in with people who don't know their own names. They wander around aimlessly, and have no contact with each other. It is very sad to experience. I know Mum will get like that sooner than any of us want, but I wish they had found a more suitable place.

At least she is in the system now, and hopefully I can start a new harassment program to get her into somewhere more social, and more in line with her Alzheimer's stage, which is now Stage Seven. If the house closes, then I can at least consider some private care options, but these are outrageously expensive. $150 a day seems to be the norm. With Mum cared for full-time now, hopefully I can research some other places and get her moved when the house closes.

The staff at the care facility had told me not to have any contact with Mum or she would just insist on coming home. They didn't want me talking to her on the phone or visiting her. Over the next few days she left thirteen messages, crying and saying she was sorry and could I please come and get her to go home. It just broke my heart listening to those messages, but I knew she was where she had to be now to be cared for by professionals.

Not a happy day by any stretch.