Ask Jennifer: Week ending 12/21

Updated: 12/01/2014 9:25 AM
Created: 08/04/2009 11:50 AM WHEC.com

Dear Jennifer,
We tried to take my mother out for Thanksgiving. It was a fiasco. She was afraid to walk, let alone get up two steps to get into my house. It took us 45 minutes to get her to the car and another 45 minutes to get her in the house. By then it was time to eat as soon as we got in. My mother barely ate a bite. And then she wanted to go home and we weren’t done with the meal. All I can think about is the next holiday. Momma won’t want to stay home and it’s a mess getting her out. Do you have any ideas? My brother says we should leave her at the home.


Dear Monica,

Oh boy. Here are my recommendations:

1. Talk with your mom. What does she want? If everything frightens her and she doesn’t have an appetite, she may appreciate the option to stay home. If she wants to stay home, wherever that is, plan a smaller affair. Maybe she would like to spread it out over the week with small family groups coming to visit for an hour each. And maybe that’s too much. Perhaps she would like you to visit between meals for a limited time. Ask. And accept her wishes.

2. If your mother wishes she wasn’t so fearful because she wants to be out with everyone, then consider hiring a wheelchair mobile, or obtaining a transport wheelchair to get her to the car and into the house. Transport chairs can be purchased at medical supply stores and many drug stores. You can borrow one from loan cupboards which you might find at your local ambulance office. You will either need a couple strong men to lift the wheelchair inside or rent/borrow/purchase portable ramps to wheel her inside.

3. Remember to consider today’s technology – perhaps your mom would like to Skype her way into the pre- holiday festivities – she would be in the comfort of her own home, free from her anxieties and yet “see” everyone. Heck, you could all tip a glass of eggnog to each other.
Use your imagination and your heart. It will be a different holiday, but it will still be filled with love.



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