YvoCaro Plays

YvoCaro Plays: When the Days Grow Shorter

These YvoCaro Plays centre mostly around Gaming. And though I had ideas for another article to work on, I feel I have to take you along in a part of my everyday life this time. Simply because it is a big part of my life, and it influences what I do for LadiesGamers as well. 

When the Days Grow Shorter

Some years ago, I wrote about a phone call I got from an elderly gentleman in the middle of the night, who was trying to reach a man called Gerard, but he had dialled the wrong number. It got to me, most likely because I care for my own mother too, and I can imagine all too well what his situation was. ( if you want to read about what happened, you can find it here.)

At the time this happened, my mom was 82 and already had had mobility problems for years. Ever since my dad passed away, she depended on my brother and me for some extra care. In the Netherlands, the elderly care given by the government is okay, as there are organizations of nurses who visit people who need personal care at home daily. The idea is to let everyone live in their own home as long as possible. When the situation takes a turn for the worse and around the clock care is needed, someone can go into a nursing home. 

This does take some pressure away from friends and family. However, with the personal care taken care of, there are also the more mundane tasks like grocery shopping, putting the trash out, visits to doctors in the hospital and handling the financial side of running a house.

Moving into the Next Phase

For the past nine years, my brother and I divided tasks and visits, but still, loneliness was a factor. This lasted until the start of 2021, when her situation worsened. As she couldn’t move from one chair to the next anymore, she became totally dependent. We tried to compensate, which wasn’t always easy, and in May, she ended up in hospital anyway. An infection weakened her, and her mind wasn’t as sharp as it used to be.

The lady who had dieted all her life to maintain her waistline now weighed far too little. The small things she used to still do behind her stroller were beyond her now, and pretty soon, she was in a wheelchair all day. Where we used to exchange iMessages daily, she now couldn’t manage touching the letters anymore. She needed care 24/7; at 88 years old, it was time to go into a nursing home. 

Not an easy time for her; it’s never a good idea to move to a new environment when you are older. We all get attached to our home and daily life. We had to let go of her flat and most of her personal belongings, which is a big issue for her. Now, everything is very different, and she has to depend on someone else for all that has to be done. 

Phone Calls in the Night

For us, it feels good that she is taken care of, even when we can’t make it over. That takes a load off my shoulders. But I still feel the responsibility that one of us goes to see her daily. My mom still depends on us emotionally and still has her mobile phone, which equals a lot of phone calls. The phone call from the elderly gentleman I referred to in my article of 6 years ago is now happening more often, and this time it’s my mother on the other end of the phone. Very hard, I can tell you, to logically know there is a nurse nearby who will help her but still feeling the urge to race towards her and offer help. The first few times it happened, I couldn’t sleep a wink anymore. By now, though, I often go to sleep wishing for an uneventful night and no calls.

As I already mentioned, it influences what I do for LadiesGamers, as free time, which was already scarce, is even more at a premium now. I’m forever grateful that Paula is there to pick up and keep the site going strong daily. As we often jokingly say, LadiesGamers is our baby, and at least one of its parents is there all the time. 

If you’ve read through all of this, even though it’s not game-related, then I thank you! And as I’m sure some of you have experienced or are experiencing the same situation, don’t hesitate to shoot me a message!

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