Mother of Five


She was lost. A mother of five, alone at 85, her home now in the Butler Nursing Home. She had been placed there five years ago by her children.

Their reason for placement was she was getting old, and they did not have time to keep coming over and checking in on her. They had their careers, and their kids who were in sports, and dance, and they just felt it better to  place her so they did not have to worry about her not eating, or maybe falling and no one would know immediately.

Sometimes on a Sunday, she would get a visit from a church member or the minister would stop by, and once a week, one of her kids would call her and talk to her for about five minutes.

She had been a hard-working woman in her younger days. She raised her five kids, pretty much alone. Her husband had been killed in the war, and although she received benefits from his death, times were tough, and she took in ironing from the city folk, and she cleaned the church building.

It didn’t give her much money, but she managed to put food on the table and to keep her kids clothed and in school. One time the school needed someone to clean the main part and they couldn’t find anyone qualified, but due to the need to want to buy Christmas gifts, the head master gave her a chance to do this,when she came to him offering him her services, so each year, about three weeks before Christmas, this mother would go in and clean, for the Christmas pageant, which helped her buy gifts for her kids.

She could not afford much, but was able to buy each child a doll for the girls and trucks for the two boys. She sewed stockings and made  hand-made soaps, pieces of chocolates, some cookies. She would stuff their stockings on Christmas Eve.

Now, here it was, Christmas Eve, and she felt lost. She had wandered  outside to the court-yard of the facility, and she was trying to go home. Home to where her little kids were waiting for her, waiting to be read their bed time story, waiting for their Christmas gifts the next morning, crying because they did not know where mama was. She was alone, alone on Christmas Eve, and the following day brought no brighter hope.

1.  Do you think the adult children made the right decision by placing their mama, and if so why, or why not?

2.  How do you feel about the idea that the adult children did not actually visit their mama?

3.

Nursing Home

What could you suggest, that would make this mama’s life a little less lonely?

20 thoughts on “Mother of Five

  1. If the only reason they admitted her was because they didn’t want to be bothered, then no, they did not do the right thing. But from working as a nurse in a nursing home at one time, you have to know more than that.
    They should make the time to visit her, but sometimes there are things that get in the way. It is not possible to judge the children nor should we. We don’t really know their circumstances or reasoning. God bless you and hope that Al is settling in and his care is good!

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    • that is a good answer, and coming from a nurse’s point of view. i have also worked in the medical field and have seen some people never see anyone other than staff. it is a sad situation, but in the end, this mama gave her all and her love to these kids, and when a child can not make time for their own mama once in a while, it is sad. I m going out to see Al today. hope he is doing well

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      • That is where we as followers of Christ can make a difference. When we know others are lonely, we can take the few minutes of time if we have it, to share a friendly word, a hug, or just a friendly smile. When I was nursing, if I had a few minutes extra, I would sit and listen. Sometimes that is what people need the most, just someone to acknowledge that they are important enough for someone to hear them!

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  2. This is something that will become more and more of an issue, the problem is that with modern technology we have increased life expctancy to far beyond what are bodies were designed to cope with – personally I have actually told my children that I want them to put me in a home if a time comes where I cannot care for myself. I am watching my mum suffer as she struggles to care for my grandma despite there being a few of us to help, mentally it is destroying her I would never wish to put my children through that nor force them to choose between the dreams I told them to chase or being a loving child.

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    • I tell my kids the same thing…….if i can’t care for myself, place me in a home, and i also add to them, if i have dementia or alehizmers or something where i would not recognize them, please stay away, so i can’t hurt your feelings, only come see me if you want to

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  3. That’s the thing about having children – there is no guarantee that they will have time for you when you’re getting older. Also her kids can be living in Europe or Australia.
    People has said to me not having kids, what about when you getting older ???
    What about it??? Better to have kids and be alone – then having kids and alone.

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  4. Placing her in a home may have been a good decision – my family faced the issues and placing Mom in an assisted living was the right choice. But we stay in touch and visit… No visitors with five kids, there is no excuse. Is she living near one or more of them? Between the five of them you would think they could work out an arrangement of different people (kids, sons or daughters in laws, grandkids) visiting occasionally and calling frequently.

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  5. Answering the first question, no. I would never place my mom or my dad in a nursing home. Not because nursing homes are bad, though I have heard some horrific stories, but because they are my parents. They chose to be my parents. They chose to have me and take care of me and do for me so I in turn feel taking care of them is the least I can do.

    My grandmother had Alzheimer’s disease, she passed in 2001, but when my mother heard she was declining we moved from Virginia to Florida to take care of her. She eventually had to live with us and watching my mother care for her the way she did made me really see how big my mother’s heart is.

    I’m honestly ashamed of those 5 adult children. I don’t wish harm on others, but I can’t imagine their own children being any different when they are older and declining.

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    • I have been on both sides of the fence. My brother whom I have cared for five years with PD, finally had to be placed last week for his safety of so many falls, but on the other foot, i cared for my father who was dying from bone cancer, and he died in my arms at home. It is hard for me either way, to have my brother gone makes me feel like i failed him in some way, and the pain of watching my father whither down to death was pure torment. now kids not calling or visiting is totally disgusting in my eyes. there is no excuse

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