There isn’t a more important bond in the world, the bond between parent and child. And for mothers and daughters, it’s even more special.
So it goes without saying that a daughter’s decision to admit her parent into a nursing home is a very arduous and complicated one— a decision that likely kept her up tossing and turning late into the night. Once the decision was “yes” to nursing homes, we also know just how careful she was to select a home that really seemed perfect — one that was within the budget (or, close), near the family’s home, and one that could be a new “home” for her parent, one that she could trust…
But even with all of that love and care – even the most loving and attentive daughter could not help what happens next.
Something goes wrong and suddenly her mother looks very worse for wear and suddenly she is suffering major health complications such as a stroke or heart attack, or serious health complications from not receiving the proper medical care or medicine. Or worse: Suddenly there are signs of physical abuse or emotional abuse such as bruising, black eyes, bed sores or her once extroverted, happy-go-lucky mother has become sullen, quiet, and scared of the caretakers in her new home.
Time and time again, we’ve witnessed that the first person to observe these signs is likely the daughter. Thanks to the mother/daughter bond, perhaps these daughters didn’t have to hear a word from their mother before they just knew. It’s the same kind of instinct you hear about when a mom recounts feeling a pain in her stomach when her daughter first fell down on the playground during recess.
She didn’t see it, she couldn’t know it, she just felt it. She felt it, and then she started asking questions. She started digging deeper. And then, well, then she saw it and knew it, too. Then the fact that her beloved mother was being severely hurt in the very nursing home she trusted is now clear as day.
It takes a whole lot of courage to look abuse of any kind in the face. There is a period when we try to wish it away, as if by not looking we can somehow think it away.
Eventually though, we all have to face the facts, especially for the health and safety of our loved ones when they are being threatened.
Perhaps it’s a very silver, very bright sort of lining in the tragedy that is nursing home abuse, the fact that the mother/daughter bond has allowed so many daughters, now mothers themselves, to stand up for their moms when they are being hurt in a nursing home. For some of these women, they have nothing but intuition to thank for seeing the scary — albeit potentially life-saving — truth.
This Mother’s Day we’re saying “job well done” to all of you moms and daughters out there, everyone who did what they could to help protect and care for the ones they loved.
Thank you, moms and daughters, for all that you do.