Mom & Dad: Assisted Living One Year Later


October 1, 2021 is a day our family will never forget. The day we moved our parents to assisted living at Dogwood. If you’ve been with me for all this time, you know I’ve written several posts about the journey my family took to get our parents moved out of their house of 50 years to a new home in assisted living and memory care for my dad. We didn’t know exactly how that would look at the time, but hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 and we wouldn’t have done it any other way now that we can look back over the last year and see how good its been for them. Mom especially! It’s been so good for her to be in a new home, surrounded by new friends and activities. She has blossomed so much and we are so glad about that.

Mom sees dad almost every day. She has healed up well from her broken shoulder she got in June of this year. Thank goodness for that! I was worried when she broke it that it would take months to heal, but after about 2 months she was doing very well and getting her range of motion back. I almost forget now that she ever broke her shoulder. She’s doing great. Dad comes to her room to visit and many times they go out in his courtyard or hers and sit outside. We’ve had such beautiful weather lately and my dad loves the outdoors so they spend as much time as they can outside in the fresh air. It’s good for both of them.

Mom is back in her regular clothes and enjoying the new outfits we had gotten for her just before she broke her shoulder. She loves her new clothes.

Sitting out on the patio enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. They both love being outdoors and it does them good.

Dad has always been an outdoor guy. Dad is still doing very well in memory care. They take good care of him and make sure his needs are met. We never hear him complain, but mom says they have a hard time getting him to take a shower. But so far it’s working pretty well and he does it for them. That seems to be one of the main things that dementia patients fuss about. I’ve heard that a lot. I’m so glad that mom doesn’t have to deal with dad in those sorts of things. That’s the blessing of him being in memory care and her in assisted living. She can take care of herself and not have to worry about him. Blessing!

Every time I go and visit, I try to take pics of them. We know they will not be with  us forever and I really try to savor the moments we have with them, from lunches we bring in to visiting on the porch. Daddy is pretty much living in the moment now. He no longer asks about his car or truck or house, he’s forgotten most of that. He doesn’t even talk about pastoring the church anymore, it’s fading so much from his mind. But, we will take that any day rather than combative behaviour. We are so thankful he’s content and seems happy day to day when we see him.

He’s happy to sit outside and we chat as much as we can. He talks about the weather, or the birds, or what he sees going on around us, but really can’t carry on any sort of real conversation anymore. He asks me all the time how I like living in Acworth and then comments on how nice the area is. Looping conversations seem to be the norm with dementia patients and that’s OK. We take what we can get.

They have friends from my dad’s church who come to visit sometimes and it’s nice to see them and be able to catch up. This is Carol (the husband) and dad visiting on the porch. They sit and talk and talk and it’s nice to hear that.

Mom, her friend Dot (married to Carol) and her long time pastor’s wife friend, Ann, who lives  next door in Holbrook. It’s really ironic that Ann ended up there after her husband passed away last year and she didn’t even know mom was at Dogwood when she decided on moving into Holbrook. It’s nice for mom to be able to see her long time friends. She’s known these ladies for at least 40 to 45 years.

I think you’ll agree that mom and dad are looking good and the move has been good for them. We often remark how we are so thankful that we moved them when we did. It was hard to do the move (especially for my dad), but now that he’s all settled and content, it was absolutely the best decision.

Mom has really thrived at Dogwood and has many friends now. She stays busy during her day with Sittercize, Bible study, and playing Rumikub and Bingo very often. By the end of the day, she’s tired and ready to retreat to her room for rest. I’m so glad she has a nice place to call home and relax without the worry of meals and cleaning. This is what she deserves at this time in life.

I thought you all would like to see these current pics and see how they are doing. As you can see, they are looking well for 94 and 95.

Mom and her snazzy new outfits.

Last weekend, Lauren and Parker came home. It was a last minute decision and we enjoyed having them at our house. Renee and Bruce came home too for the week and they rented a big truck to take the rest of their stuff in storage back to LA and their new house. I had a lot of stuff stored in our basement for them too, mostly outdoor furniture and chairs bought on Facebook marketplace for us to redo and recover.

Parker is 8 years old now and getting SO tall. I think she grows 6″ everytime I see her. She’s going to be a tall gal.

We played bingo with mom while they were here and Lauren won 2 games, which didn’t go over well with everyone. Those folks like for the local residents to win. It’s pretty cute the comments we hear around assisted living.

The North Georgia fair happened to be starting last weekend, so when Lauren found out she wanted us to take Parker so I went with them. We had fun, although I was worn out by the time we left at 10. We got there when they opened at 4 and rode a lot of rides, ate fair food and had fun. Parker enjoyed it so much.

Riding the big swings.

Lauren and I met mom and dad for their church service on Sunday morning, it was sweet. Parker looks real happy, doesn’t she? Ha! They always ask dad to pray and he does that wonderfully and beautifully.

Sitting outside after church.

Mom and Parker were color coordinated.

Renee picked up home cooking food from John Boy’s and we all had a delicious feast on the porch. It was a fun day.

We closed the week out with some of mom and dad’s friends from our old church coming by for a visit. It was great to see Jim and Penny, as well as Lynn and Bobbie, long time friends our ours. Lynn (back row left) is a talented gospel singer and this is his third time coming to sing for Dogwood. He’s a big hit and everyone loves to gather around and listen (and sing along). It’s a blessing to have mom and dad in such a God centered facility and I’m so glad they allow Christian folks to come in and minister. What a blessing!

That’s a recap on the last year with mom and dad in assisted living and memory care. If you haven’t followed our entire journey, I’ve shared it all here on the blog in several posts. You can find them all on this page, start at the beginning (The Move) and read forward. It involved planning the move, the move and all the info on selling their house as well. It’s been quite the process, but we are so grateful and thankful for the Lord’s grace on our family. I’ll continue to share them as long as they are with us. Thanks for loving my parents and being concerned about their lives. God is so good!

 

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