April 1, 2008

Hannah's Journey - Part 1

This is a journal of events that my mother has been going through since 1989 and leading to her eventual stay in a nursing home. In order to keep each part of the journal I have been keeping over the last half year brief, I will post this journal in parts, as I entered them. All the postings for this continued article can be found in the Hannah's Journey folder.



My mother is 89 years old and has been relatively healthy most of her life. She is fairly active and is living on her own in a newer retirement building in White Oak, PA, which is near McKeesport, my home town. In the past decade she started having hearing difficulties for which we have gone through many attempts to find a solution; that's a whole story in itself. Also, during the last 10 years or so, she went from living in the house she and my Dad bought when they were first married (that my sister, older brother and myself all lived in until we each married) and moved out to her current apartment.

She continued living there on her own after my Dad died in 1989 and eventually we all realized that the house was getting hard for her to maintain. One day She fell down the stairs coming down to the living room and broke her arm and temporarily moved into my sister's house for a few months. I think this experience made her feel like she didn't want to be alone in the old house anymore. Eventually, a new retirement residence was built in her hometown and the rent was income based, so she was able to get in before the waiting list started developing. That was a lucky break and really made the whole family feel better about where she lived. Although she lived alone in her apartment, she made many friendships and enjoyed the exercise area, playing games, watching movies and the dining hall. It wasn't one of those top of the line retirement communities, but was really very nice for the money.

She has been rather healthy without any major issues until yesterday (11/7/2007) when she was walking down the hallway to the laundry room and fell and broke her hip. Luckily, her daughter-in-law was with her and called 911 and got her to the hospital. I am fearing that this may be such a major issue this time that a whole series of events may be forthcoming.

I will continue to add her progress and experiences to this blog as we go through this.

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