Today, my mum was admitted into the assisted living centre.
I wasn’t able to accompany my mum and dad this morning and I had felt sad and guilty for not being there to help her settle in. In the end, I was able to leave half an hour early from work to visit my mum. Luckily (and maybe because of fate), I was able to head over because it was a four minute walk from my office. But little did I know the emotional impact it had on me…
I walked into her room to find her laying down in bed. But her spirits lifted when she saw my surprise visit. It made us both smile. I sat by her side as I asked her about the centre, the various activities available and the basic routine for her and the staff; she told me about the meals offered and the little details about the place. I exchanged words with the nurses and PSWs who were looking after my mum. I informed them of my mum’s needs and helped the nurse transfer her out of bed. We were going into the dining room for dinner: I looked around as we wheeled my mum to the dining room and I saw so many patients who were in their late 70s to early 80s and I felt my heart drop. One woman was randomly yelling at us while four others just sat there in silence, showing signs of senile. And knowing I would be walking out of the centre without my mum was heartbreaking. In fact, I didn’t expect it to be so hard to accept that my mum would be living at the centre for a month. As I asked my mum more questions regarding the centre and its staff, I made a promise (to myself) to eat lunch with her as often as possible so that I can at least keep her company.
After we ate dinner, my dad and I went back to visit my mum and brought a few more items to her room in hopes to make her feel as comfortable as possible. The initial shock is much more intense than I ever imagined and I can only hope my mum will be comfortable there for the little while she’ll be living at the centre.
While my heart is filled with guilt, I know time will help alleviate the guilt associated with the initial shock of the environment for my mum. She is in safe hands and I will do my best to be there for her. There is fear that I am not strong enough to juggle it all, but I will try. And I will breathe and move past the anxiety slowly and calmly, with love in my heart.