I’ll always remember July as “the month of the mother-in-laws.”
July 1 we left for our vacation in upstate New York. Well, things didn’t go quite as planned. Mother-in-law #1, 83, (husband Jeff’s mom) fell the end of June and fractured her pelvis. Our vacation became a nursing trip. MIL #1 went from the hospital to rehab and she was NOT happy at rehab which is normal. She had high motivation to do the physical therapy so she could go home.
Her house was built in 1845 and was added on to over the years. There are four steps from the family room to the main level; kitchen, dining and living room. Upstairs are the bedrooms and the only full bath (common in the north).
After 16 days in rehab Jeff brought her home. Physical and occupational therapists are coming to the house to work with her to navigate the steps and get stronger. I flew home after 10 days and Jeff is coming home the end of July. He’s been a great son and caregiver; cooking (he’s a great cook), cleaning, doctor’s appointments, helping navigate stairs, etc.
Mother-in-law #2, 82, (Jeff’s stepmom) is in a skilled nursing facility in Georgetown. She has good and bad days. Last weekend she had a really bad day. My sister-in-law was out of town on a much-deserved vacation. I rushed down Sunday evening. MIL #2 didn’t know who I was at first. I was able to sit with her and hold her hand. The next day she was sitting in her recliner attempting to feed herself. I fed her, got her into clean PJs, and straightened her bed with clean bedding. The next morning she wasn’t up and didn’t feel like eating. That’s her roller coaster ride. By lunchtime she was up, talking and feeding herself. Tuesday afternoon she was “stable” and I came home. She’s now had several good days in a row.
I’m thankful Jeff and I have businesses that allow the flexibility to take care of family when needed. Jeff got to spend quality time with his mom. I was able to spend time with MIL #2 and make sure she got the care she needed.
If you are a regular or as needed caregiver I highly recommend watching “It’s Not A Burden.” Watch the trailer for this documentary about caregiving for our parents at www.itsnotaburden.com.
Remember, they took care of us for 18+ years, now it’s our turn to give back. It’s a privilege, not a burden. It depends on your mindset. Focus on the good and cherish the time you get to spend.
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Edwena Potter, Certified Senior Housing Professional, Keller Williams Realty
“You love on your loved ones, let us handle the details”