Since my mother refused post-stroke treatment, behavior I could not control, I’ve been really busy. Bordering on mildly hypomanic at times, yet surprisingly stable given all the stress I’m under, I gained a sense of control by learning what I can about those things I can control.
Using skills I acquired in my careers in psychotherapy, commercial real estate and the law (granted, I was a legal assistant specializing in complex computerized litigation, not estates and trusts), I’m doing due diligence to be a good – no, an excellent – health care agent and advocate, power of attorney and trustee for my parents. These roles I share with my sister who is in the midst of relocating out of state (lucky woman, actually, she’s stressed out, too).
The past three weekends, I’ve met with several real estate agents, brokers and property managers. Now we’re taking a look at rehabbing and renting out my parents’ beach home.
Friday, after speaking to a gerontological psychologist who will meet with my parents next week, I visited a dedicated memory care community. Hate to keep moving my parents from facility to facility, but must find the right fit for them. My mom needs proper care.
My mother is receiving excellent care in their board and care, but it offers caregiving only, not specialized support or structured activities. My mother is not in control of her life right now and is losing hope for recovery. Before her stroke, my mother had panic attacks, social anxiety and some distorted thoughts. The stroke injured her brain’s front left lobe, exacerbating psychiatric symptoms and interfering with impulse control.
These traumatic brain injuries are trying for anyone. My mother and father were both first-born, high-achievers (as was I). Before her stroke, my mother always had to be in control, and like me, sometimes blew up when overstimulated by social contact or when criticized. Not being able to express herself verbally (she was former university debate team captain) or get her way must be nightmare for her.