Taking a Break

Ken - Mary - David and Mark Steinhoff in Lutheran Home 04-20-2015After more than a year of posting seven days a week, you may have noticed that I’ve been slacking off.

This has been a rough winter for Mother: she had her heart shocked back into rhythm in February, her pacemaker was replaced and she’s been sucking down supplemental oxygen to help her breathe (her oxygen saturation is higher than mine, so it must be working). In addition to the miserable weather that kept her trapped in the house, her circle of friends is getting smaller and smaller, which has made her a bit gloomy.

Regaining her strength

Different combinations of Mark, David and I have been keeping her company, but we determined that we didn’t have the expertise to get her back up to speed. She’s moved into the Lutheran Home temporarily so she can get physical therapy and gain some weight back. She’s got plenty of muscles from mowing the lawn, blowing leaves and going up and down the basement steps, but she’s working on learning how to use those muscles more effectively when you’re 93, going on 94.

I like the Lutheran Home

I’ve done quite a few stories over the years about healthcare facilities, including some that are no longer in business in Cape County. Most of the stories, sad to say, were about neglect and abuses.

The first thing I noticed about the Lutheran Home was that it didn’t smell. It’s clean and shiny.

The staff is friendly and caring. I’m usually there from late afternoon, through the evening meal and wind down watching a movie with Mother until she falls asleep, so I’ve had plenty of time over the last couple of months to get to know the folks who work there. They are stretched a little thin, but that’s a management issue, not anything the individual nurses, aides and therapists can control. I’m impressed.

Cards and letters

2015-05-20 MLS cards_20150520_164100385Road Warriorette Jan put the word out to her wide network of friends that she knew someone who would love to get some cards in the mail. Before long, Mother was getting batches of unique and interesting cards from all over the country. It has certainly given her something to look forward to.

If you’d like to send her a note, here’s her address until she gets back home.

Mary Steinhoff

Lutheran Home Room 217

2825 Bloomfield Road

Cape Girardeau, MO 63703

Back to work

I’m way behind on some projects, but I’ll try to post to this blog a little more regularly. Thanks to you folks who sent me email saying you missed seeing the morning posts.

I also need to thank Marty Riley and Rachael Criddle who have been a tremendous help over the past few months. It’s nice to have folks around who can explain medicines and procedures to you in non-doctorspeak.

17 Replies to “Taking a Break”

  1. Ken, this is a lovely picture of your brothers with your Mother. I will say prayers for her strength. I also just want to mention that I dated your brother David many, many years ago. A lot of water under the bridge since then 🙂 Wishing continued health and strength for your Mother and your entire family. God’s Blessings!! 🙂

  2. My mother, Wanda Lindy, was in assisted living in RC east. She loved it there. They had so many activities for the residents. She was there from 2002-2006.
    I still keep in contact on FB with one of her care givers. Mom had many friends there.
    I was unable to care for her at home– I was so grateful that she could be happy and receive great loving care.

  3. We agree with Ken completely about the Lutheran Home. Our dad has settled in and made many new friends.

  4. I’ll drop in on your mom when I’m there again in about 10 days. Will you stop in to visit my dad? He’s in 203. Like your mom, he’s there for rehab. Lost a leg last week due to a popliteal aneurysm. He’s 97 and still sharp as a proverbial tack. Any intelligent conversation would be welcomed. Taught economics at SEMO for 25 years and built sailboats in the back yard. You might remember him. He rode a bicycle all over town long before that was a cool thing to do. Everyone knew him as P. Brown. My sister, Melinda, graduated from CHS IN ’65, then SEMO IN ’69. Maybe you remember her.

  5. It’s good to see the four of you together and all looking so well. Our wishes for a quick recovery are on the way.

  6. You deserve some time-off! But, sorry to hear about your mom.

    We moved my mother to the Lutheran Home when she required care 24/7. My dad was wearing down trying to provide that care himself. Our experience was the same as yours. The Lutheran Home is a very caring environment. I wondered if it helped that my Dad was best friends with the Chairman :-). More likely, IMHO, it is the association with a religious organization.

    You might be interested to know that our Chemistry teacher, Tom O’Laughlin, was across the hall from my mother.

  7. Yes, the Lutheran Home is wonderful. My mom spent a few weeks there about a year ago to recover from pneumonia.

  8. I recommend the Lutheran Home. Three of my aunts lived there after they could no longer live at home, and I thought they received excellent care.

  9. I missed your morning blog, but understand family comes first. Best wishes to your Mother and your family. God bless.

  10. Ken, I too, will weigh in. My dad ended up taking my mother there when she got to the point with her Alzheimer’s that she could no longer sit up or stand and he could not lift her. The care was the best and they gave her last year of life dignity. My dad has plans to end up there when his time comes because he was impressed with the whole experience.
    I hope your mother regains her strength soon: our thoughts and prayers are with her.

  11. I’m surprised and pleased to hear good reports from Lutheran Home. My parents were there 2004-2009. My dad died January ’09 because of overnight neglect. My friend’s husband was there 2012 and it wasn’t clean and laundry was strewn in his room. My husband’s mother was left in her wheel chair outside in the sun hours in 90° and if a friend of ours hadn’t watched this we would never had known.

  12. Ken,

    I will remember your mother in prayer. Hope she does gain her strength back and stays hopeful. My mother, who is 95 going on 96, has been at the Lutheran Home for a number of years, both in skilled care and assisted living. She is very positive, and thinks well of the staff there. I just wish I could visit her more often …Who knows, maybe our moms will end up table mates ? Wishing you and your mother all the best …

  13. Keeping your mother in my prayers for a speedy recovery. She is such a lovely lady and your #1 cheerleader!

  14. I have missed your blogs but understand.
    I will send your mother a card although I do not know you or her. I signed up for your blogs because a friend told me what a nice job you do. I agree.

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