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  • Jane Wheeler

We got a Miracle - Mom's Moved

We got a miracle – Mom is moved!

The thing with Alzheimer’s is that the person will not remember what they did a few minutes ago even if someone treated them horribly and that makes elder care for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s so hard. They cannot tell you when things are wrong – at least with their mouths.

My mom, I believe, tried to tell us something was wrong when she escaped from her care home on August 6. She had packed up all her pictures (and she had a lot) and taken them with her and off she went, escaping from the care home in Burnaby on a sweltering 29 degree hot and smoky day.

If you read my blog from then you will remember that a passerby called the RCMP when they noticed mom on the sidewalk. Bless them! She was 2.5 km from the home.

Well here we are a month later and we have had our miracle. God has answered our prayers, my mom is now transferred into a lovely care facility in White Rock. We were told that transfers take up to 4-6 months as you get placed onto the waiting list. We were told that there was no way we were getting her into the place in White Rock because it had a 2 year wait list.

They do not know my God.

Mom ran away twice, even though it was a secure facility where residents cannot get out – Ha! (another resident got out the day before I got there for my visit in August).

Our list of complaints: mom ran away, the care home missed mom's pneumonia; on another occasion, Mom got punched in the face by another resident; she had 3 falls where the care staff found her on the floor, we do not know for how long she had had to lie there since the room checks are spotty. My sister took mom down to supper one night only to find mom’s spot in the dining room, her spot since 2012, gone. A lady came out of the kitchen and said they were told mom got transferred – does this mean she had received no care at all that day? Mom could not tell us of course, she would not have remembered.

I spent a week sitting and watching at the care home - it was one of the most frustrating experiences because I could not change a thing. I had to leave mom still there when I left. I sat in a parking lot and cried.

I was so discouraged, there seemed no way to move mom quickly, I had expected God to move my mom the week I was there. He did not and discouragement set in. The wheels were turning way to slowly for me. It was when I flew over the Rockies on the way home that I got a better perspective. The Rockies always melt my heart, they are so beautiful. Even though they were barren and dry, they are an incredible sight. I laughed to myself on the plane looking down, that if God can make these majestic mountains, surely, He can handle mom's move. That was Saturday, Monday I got the call.

The care home did some big blunders while I was there and it helped our “cause”. One day there was no charting for mom recorded; we had no idea if mom had received her medications at breakfast or lunch and that staff member was gone to even ask. That was the day mom was wearing someone else’s clothing. Then the day I grabbed the “floor” wheelchair to take mom out for a drive and it had feces (poop) on it and they just cleaned it off with a Kleenex and put a towel over the cushion for mom (no sanitizing) well they pretty much sealed the deal with me as I forwarded a picture I took of the wheelchair to Licensing at the government.

My brother and sister asked if I would continue in my quest to get “answers” and push for a care home inspection now that mom is transferred – my answer is “yes”.

The problem at the care home is lack of management and training of staff, they fired all their long term staff last year and replaced them all with casual workers, to save money. The slide in care began. People’s lives and health should never be put into the “bottom line” category. There are 300 beds in that facility and those dear souls cannot speak for themselves, many do not have family who even come to see them or monitor their care. A good percentage of them are veterans, people who put their life on the line to help defend others and our country. Our country should make sure they are taking care of them.

We got our miracle to get our mom out, but what does that mean for the others left behind?

Just as that anonymous passerby took notice of our mom’s plight on the sidewalk and got help, I feel the need to do the same for those others who cannot get their voices heard.

What in your life appears to be a Mountain? Something that will not move, or seems insurmountable. Change your perspective, go into nature and look around and then give this Mountain over to the God the one who can build mountains and tear them down.

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