Thanks to all those who answered my call for prayers for my mother. We are still in Nelson spending time with family, and will be heading home on Saturday. It appears my Mom will be in the hospital for a few weeks, then the doctor has suggested long-term care. He thinks it will be too hard for my sister to keep caring for Mom at home. I really don't like the idea of long- term care; I think it is the duty of the children to look after their parents when they are old; it is simply the reversal of the role they played in our lives as young children and teenagers.
The ideal situation would be for family members to share this undertaking and help out where they can, but we all live in different cities, which means whoever decides to be the caregiver will be doing it alone. My youngest sister has taken on this responsibility since last fall, but the doctor feels that with three young children to care for, taking on the role of primary caregiver for Mom will be too much for her. He is also worried that Mom's weakened immune system will be compromised around young children.
For those of us who hold down full time jobs, providing full time care can be a real challenge, and since Mom will need to have someone there to assist her with most of her needs, she can't be left alone for long periods of time. I would like to see if I can arrange things so that when she is ready to leave the hospital, she could come home with me. I do not want to see my mother go into a care home - she had 10 children, seven of whom are possibly capable of taking her in. I can't imagine what it would feel like to be in that situation - knowing you have all these children and no one to look after you when you need it most.
I know my siblings share that same sentiment, and none of us want to see Mom in a care home. That's what big Catholic families are for - to be there for each other.