A few days ago I made a decision not to prod any more -- the tricky part is not to 'dis' courage, but not to actively 'en' courage. To allow her a choice and to follow that choice.
In the morning, I said "Are you going to walk to the pub (for coffee!) or do you want to go in the 'chair'?"
"Oh, I need the chair", she replied weakly ... (My mother went to drama school in New York City -- she is very good ;-) )
"OK", I said, trying to sound even-handed. And into the wheelchair she got.
"Oh, thank you, dear", she said relieved and pleased.
When lunchtime came I asked the same question and received the same reply. Not once did she choose to use her walker. At the end of the day she was asked how the walking was going by my brother and by her reply it seemed as though she did not remember that she had in fact done no walking that day. Dutifully, I let her know -- in a nice way :-)
At the end of the day, I felt a little down in the dumps. But I thought about it a lot and came to several conclusions.
- 'Will Power' is a 'self' motivation. She may or may not have enough and that if she does not that is not the end of the world for her. I have helped her to see that it is possible for her to do the things she did before her accident. But my real role here is to be a daughter and not a physical therapist or any other kind of professional.
- She will not have to leave this place and everything that is necessary for her to stay her and live successfully are in place. If she needs more assistance she is in a position to afford it. I have spoken to all the staff and they are completely on board with her needs and the possibilities and limitations. Most importantly they want what is best for her and they are giving her plenty of time to recover and to make the best possible situation for herself.
- My mother has every opportunity, but there are no expectations. I have discovered it is important to let go of expectations! For cryin' out loud she's 92 -- that's almost grown up!!!
- I have been with her for just about the right amount of time! We both need to let go. I have my life and Mom most definitely has hers!