I’m not sure how I feel about it, but the hospital is making tentative plans to discharge my mother. This should be good news, right? The thing is, she’s not being released to go home – she’s not well enough. Instead, they’re making arrangements for her to be placed in an assisted living facility.

If my life had a soundtrack, something foreboding would be playing right now.

You may recall (or not, she’s not your mother) it was an incident at an ALF that precipitated her extended stay at the state hospital. My fear is this fits the national trend. We run out of places for the mentally ill, so we dump them in nursing homes, or something similar – places ill suited to care for them. The end result is something like what happened to my mother already – or worse, someone gets hurt – and the cycle starts over.

I’ll be happy to have her nearby, but not at the cost of her safety.

Maybe she has improved. Maybe an ALF really is appropriate now. I understand there are ALFs with some kind of certification to treat the mentally ill. I’m a little worried though. In this case, I don’t think it’s just me.

I want to be hopeful. I haven’t seen her in months, but others say she seems a little better – in some ways. Being closer will fix one of my problems (self inflicted though it may be) – the guilt I carry for not visiting enough.

Give the gift of words.