My mom was placed in a nursing home at the age of 84, after a hospital visit where she was treated for pneumonia. After an assessment, it was decided that she wasn’t able to live on her own any longer. We asked about home care, but the hospital staff said that she would need 24 hour care for safety reasons if she was at home, which was horribly expensive. We weren’t offered any other options for her care except a nursing home.
My mom had lived in the same house for fifty years. After her hospital visit, she never saw that home again.
While in the nursing home, my mom had a fall and broke her hip. She stopped getting out of bed on her own and became very frail. She stopped asking to go home and resigned herself to her life ending there. For the last six months of her life, her living space was a single bed and a dresser with a curtain to pull around it. She didn’t even have a window in her room to look out of.
My mom was such a soft spoken, caring, sweet woman who never harmed a fly. She was very passive and non-confrontational, so she just sat in her chair like a little bird and never complained about anything. She just withdrew into herself. She did not deserve to have her life end like this.
The staff in these nursing homes are very kind and are very good at their work. It’s the facilities that are in great need of upgrading and support to ensure a dignified end-of-life experience for seniors.