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Topic How would you convey mom's status to her old friends? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By overwhelmedinFL On 2010.11.23 10:57
Mom moved to my city into an ALF last year. It was her choice.

Dad passed in September and I am finishing up the Thank You notes from his funeral for mom.

Many people write that they have called her and cannot reach her... or they want her to come visit etc.

Even her friends from last year don't realize how quickly she has deteriorated. Cognitively she is declining and cannot remember to call people. She doesnt check email anymore..

I feel I want to include a short note to her friends letting them A) know her status physically and cognitively and B) Let them know that if they want to speak with her the best times are xxx and yyyy and the best phone number to reach her at is zzzzzz. Oh and C) if they want any more info they can call me or my siblings.

I don't want to tell mom I am sending this note because it would make her sad I think... should I just let it go and not do anything?

I just worry because some of her friends seem to be hurt they have not heard from her. We also have a friend whose husband just passed (he was dad's best friend) and my mom thinks she already called the widow with her condolences and I know she hasn't...

Your feedback is appreciated.

By Emma On 2010.11.23 11:40
I would send the notes. Yes it's true that it might make your mom sad if she knew, but think how much sadder she will be to not hear from her friends. I would also call the newly widowed friend to offer condolences from both you and your mom and give her a brief update on your mom's condition so she understands the lapse.

By hubb On 2010.11.23 11:56
We have run into this situation a couple of times this year and guess in our age group, it is to be expected. But we really did appreciate hearing from the children of our friends to give us a clue as to what was happening - you hate to lose old friends and not be aware of what is going on in their lives, so I think your idea of giving your address/phone no. is a good one - we just did that very thing with a close friend and were so glad to know what was hapenning to him - you don't need to tell your mom what you are doing - she probably wouldn't remember - and I know in my own case, I would appreciate my kids' handling it for me. Just another way you show your care and love for your mom - and since three close friends have just become widows, I know how much a phone call or card can mean to them - so think you are sure on the right track.

By Pearly4 On 2010.11.23 12:09
I sent notes to my mother's friends and a few distant relatives. I made sure to let them know how much she would enjoy their phone calls, letters, etc., but her memory wasn't the greatest these days. Didn't want to say anything that would make them think she was a doddering idiot -- too many people take it as an excuse to run for the hills and end the friendship. Thereafter, I updated once a year after her birthday or xmas (if they had sent cards) to thank them for continuing their contact.

By overwhelmedinFL On 2010.11.23 12:17
Thanks all for your input..!!! I will put a small note in the Thank you cards about mom.

That brings about another question. Although I don't want her to seem like and idiot I find it necessary to let people know they cannot simply come take her out to lunch! Some of her friends from her last home (about 90 minutes away) pop into town and I don't find out until the day of.... they plan on taking my mom out and about and they don't realize how bad she is. My mom does not let on of course...not on purpose but my mom thinks she can still walk across a room and get in an out of a car on her own.

I emailed all my uncles to let them know about her progression... and that if they wanted to go out I can arrange an assistant for her. They thanked me a ton because the last time they tried to take her out it was quite an unexpected task...they are all older than mom and cannot handle the weight and potty visits with communal female bathrooms.

So... do I tell people that if they plan on popping in they should call me first or email me and I will line up assistance for mom? Or better yet just plan on having lunch at the facility?

My mom does not need approval to leave and she will head out the door with a friend and the nurses "assume" the friend knows what they are in for...and they don't have a clue.

By karolinakitty On 2010.11.23 12:25
Overwhelmed ... i worked in the dining room and kitchen of many ALF's, most have a policy of friends "joining" them for lunch. Several had a private room, where they could go and have a "special" lunch. The guests of course had to pay. For lunch it was about $5 and $10 for dinners. We always had a special menu of about 6 different items including something for children. Check this out with either the activities director or receptionist at your moms facility. That way if her friends "drop in" they can have lunch right there and your mother will feel comfortable and the staff will be there to assist.....

By overwhelmedinFL On 2010.11.23 12:33
They can Karolina...for sure! It is about 9 and they tack it to the monthy bill I get.

Problem is my mom hates eating there and wants anyone to take her out!! LOL

The food is not bad if you ask me. Some of the menu stuff is less than desirable but there are other options they can always have (sandwiches etc) but my mom never orders them. It's like she forgets.

She complains about eggs and bacon every day but never orders cereal or bagel/cream cheese... she LOVES bagel cream cheese... but she is also now obsessed with food and eats everything in sight. Wierd huh? Is this normal for PD people? My mom was always fit and a Weight Watchers leader... her decline since 03/09 until now has her eating non stop and she has gained 60 pounds! Most of that gain in the last 12 months.

I gained 5 lbs on the cruise as we could not get her to skip one 5 course meal on that boat LOL ... in her defense I guess I could say no to the food myself.

By Pearly4 On 2010.11.23 14:02
Definitely let them know you'll be happy to arrange an assistant for help if they let you know. I would blame it on the facility -- they like to have prior notice if your mom is going out, so please let you know if they plan to leave the facility and you'll arrange for an assistant to go with them. Or they're welcome to bring something to her or join her for dinner at the facility. That should let all but the dimmest bulb know without being too specific.

By parkinit On 2010.11.24 09:30
This is where e-mail is a wonderful "vessel" to deliver the same message to many. I've had to "clue in" people that deal with my spouse.

Because we run a nonprofit and he is still at the helm, he calls meetings and invites people that don't need to be invited. He rambles on at these meetings. He then puts out inaccurate details of the meeting minutes. A few times, I have sent out "follow up" notes to clue people in - and honestly, to apologize to them - for his taking up time in their busy schedules. I've encouraged them to "decline" invitations if they feel the meeting would not be relevant to them.

By "spreading the word" others have a much better idea of what they will be dealing with and how to deal with it.

Another option would be for visitors to offer to "pick something up" to eat in house if the ALF allows this.

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