When More Translates to More Options for Failure

holeinnetI visit my mom in her community two to three times a week. There is usually one medical or care issue to follow-up on or navigate. We’ve been monitoring some minor issues with a focus on keeping mom as happy and comfortable as we can. I was planning on a social visit with mom today but arrive to find that her personal care assistant (PCA) is no where in sight. Mom is sitting in the living room staring at a soap opera on television when I arrive. She is dressed, but her hair hasn’t been combed yet and it’s 1 P.M. I brush her hair and take her into the community room to join in the afternoon activity. After joining in the games, I realize it’s 2:30 and I am concerned that I haven’t heard from her regular PCA and send her a text. She lets me know she’s home with a sick son, and apologizes for not texting me.

It’s not the job of the PCA to tell me mom doesn’t have an assistant today. I call the agency to understand why no one has communicated with me. Excuses are made, but I’m just mad. In addition to having mom in a community dedicated to memory care, we pay for the extra assistant to ensure mom is dressed in the manner she prefers, cared for, and happy. Now it just feels like I have more people to follow-up with to find out why no one seems to be on top of mom’s needs right now.

I follow-up with the community and learn that the agency called the head nurse, but none of the staff on my mom’s hallway knew. I’m not sure I’m okay with them parking her in front of a soap opera. I think they should have gotten mom to the activity room. I check my feelings and let the staff know that they should include mom in the activities.

While I love the concept of “many hands make light work,” today it feels like because so many are involved, no one seems to feel responsible.

Mom was fine. She’s safe, fed, and doesn’t complain. It’s my job to be her advocate and I wonder if this has happened before and I never knew about it. It makes me feel like I’m failing in my duties.

My hope was that more resources would help build a stronger safety net and today it feels like I have one with more places for failure. Disappointed.