A Social Worker suggested I take my mom to a Day Enrichment Center a couple days a week so I took her to one nearby to check it out. We sat out in the foyer waiting our appointment for a tour of the facility. She was immediately defensive. "What am I here for?"
It was a lovely new building and as we entered the activities area we saw a woman singing to the participants and most of them were dancing. They looked like they were having a great time. I thought this looked like a perfect place for her to spend some time being social, active and exercising her mind.
As soon as we sat down to talk to the intake person, my mother let her know that she did not live in this state, she was only here visiting, and it was time for her to go home now. I wondered if this woman had ever heard that excuse before. During our course of conversation we found out that it was not a lock down facility and decided it was not the best place her, she would most likely try to walk out to find her way home.
She was very agitated when we left and she informed me in no uncertain terms that she would not go to this place.
I thought I had a really great idea. The next time I would check out a Day Enrichment Center alone and if I thought it was the right place for her, I would just bring her there without telling her where she was going.
Very soon afterward I found a place I thought would be perfect for her so we set it up for a trial week a few hours a day.
On Monday I took her there and she said "What are we doing here?" I said "We are just here to check this place out and see if you like it." An employee met us at the door and stole her away while I did some paperwork. I kept looking out to see how she was and she seemed fine. She was having coffee and talking with everyone at the table. When she wasn't looking I sneaked out the door. I picked her up in a few hours and she said it was okay, the people were nice, but she didn't want to go back.
The next day we got ready and we were getting in the car when I made a huge mistake.
She said, "Where are we going?"
I said, "we are going back to the center where you were yesterday."
"Oh no, I can't go back there."
I said "Why not?"
" I don't like that place."
"The doctor wants you to go there. He thinks it will be good for you to socialize and exercise your body and your mind."
"I can exercise at home."
"I know you can, but it's more fun to do it with people. I think it will be fun."
"Then you go."
"Come on, Mom. It will be good for you."
Then came the tears. "I just can't go today. I don't feel good. I have a headache." Then came the chest pains...
So much for that idea today.
I took her to the Cardiologist that afternoon and to the Neurologist the next morning. The Neurologist encouraged her to go to the Enrichment Center explaining that it would be good for her and she would like it once she got used to it.
On Wednesday morning her Sister -in - Law came over to help out and we told her she was going to "therapy." She got in the car, but when we got to the center, and her Sister-in-Law opened the door Mom told her she didn't want to go in there that she wasn't feeling well. After much coaxing she went in and when she entered an employee saw her right away and called out to her that she had something for her to do. They decided to treat her like she was a volunteer and make her feel like she was helping them out.
When I picked her up that afternoon she talked all the way home about how she helped them out today and she had a good time. Wow! I couldn't believe it. Maybe she would be okay there.
On Thursday I told her that I was going to drop her Sister in Law off at Therapy again and then I would pick them both up later. When I picked her up she told me how kind all the people were to her there. And she actually had a good time!
On Friday, her Sister-in-Law come over just in case we had to go with the therapy story again. She was very reluctant today, but went inside. The nurse called me about an hour later and said "Your mother has a headache." I wondered if she really had a headache or if she just wanted to come home. The nurse gave her a Tylenol and I waited to see if I would get another call. After a couple hours I picked her up. She cried all the way home and for some time afterward. "I've lost everything. No one cares about me. I don't have anyone or anything anymore. This was the worst day of my life. I told those people I'm not coming back there again."
They were playing drums when I took her in, and she doesn't like loud noises, so was that upsetting to her; did it really give her a headache, or, was this a control tactic?
Did she really think this was the worst day or her life or did she think if she said it was I wouldn't take her back?
I know there were times that she enjoyed it... But then she hated it.
This morning she said "I would go back to that 'place' and help them out again, but I'm going back home."
What do I do now? Do I take her back and try it again, or do I give up this idea completely?