Grandma Kristine has been staying at our house since Christmas. It has worked out well. She lives in her room in the basement where she has her own bathroom and most importantly, her own TV. The kids love to go hang out with her and are really great at helping her out.
Sidenote: I just have to say that my husband is amazing. I hope my sons treat me half as well as he treats his mom. Elise also is endlessly good at helping Kristine. She is patient and kind-just like her dad.
While I am glad to have Kristine with us, I find it stressful in a mother-of-kids kind of way. I cringe that she gives them endless cookies and candy while letting them watch TV in her room for hours. I don't like discovering that they are watching TV in her bed an hour past their bedtime. Dumb, little stuff. But I try hard to let her do her thing and stay out of her hair. We have had a couple of different ladies helping her out in the past, taking her on errands, or helping her clean her trailer. Fortunately now, our niece Kenna has agreed to come and help her. I am really happy about this, as it helps Kristine stay independent and Kenna is really excellent at working with her.
Right after Christmas we had a visiting nurse come and it lit a fire under Kristine. She let Kristine know that if she wants to stay independent, she needs to be up and walking. Well, she got up and was walking around! It was good. The Physical Therapist came to visit that week as well, and she was concerned that she is at a risk for falling because she walks so unsteady. She told her to march with high knees down the hall and back each day so she can get better at balancing. Elise patiently holds her hands and walks her back and forth.
Just before New Years, she was getting restless at our house and wanted to move back to her trailer. I didn't think she was ready, but I didn't argue with her. I admit that it hurts my feelings when she tells everyone that she has over-stayed her welcome at her daughter-in-law's house. I am not sure what I do to convey that, but I imagine I must. (??) I would want to be in my own space too if I were her, so we let her call her friend to help her pack up her things and take them over to her trailer. This was just after the New Year.
The visiting nurse and the PT came to see her the very next day and I sent them both to the trailer. I told them both that she had decided to move out, but that I thought she ought to still be here. Kenna came for the appointments and told me that the nurse and the PT after evaluating her, said she is NOT ready to be on her own. John was surprised at this, as he feels like she is up to speed with her activity before her hospital stay. I agree with the nurses. I think she needs to get stronger before she goes back on her own. She is at a crossroads (this is according to the PT) where she either needs to get up and move around, or her body will soon not be able to do so.
So after being back in her trailer for just a day, she is back in our house. We will take it a week at a time and the PT will let us know how she feels Kristine is progressing. Kenna comes over and helps her organize her medications, takes her to the store, and will be here when the PT comes on Friday. I think it is the best arrangement that we can have under the circumstances. I hope she is able to keep moving so she can get back on her own, but until then, the kids like the "secret" supply of treats.