Friday, January 06, 2006
Searching for assisted living places would never rank high on my list. Yet that is what I spent yesterday doing and I was pleasantly surprised. The search has officially begun for my father's next home. After living 45 years in the house I grew up in with my mother it is becoming evident that my father needs more care. So I began the trek in JC as it seems a better idea to have him here as my mother has eventual plans of moving here. I have these memories of where my grandfather spent his last years and they are of the typical nursing home. Dismal, smelly, sad. Of the 3 places I visited yesterday 2 were outstanding assisted living homes. Except for the price (which, BTW, is exorbitant. I am not usually one to extol the virtues of all the ways insurance companies make money, however, thank god my parent's have it or I guess my Pop would end up like my grandfather!) they were very similiar. Both were warm, active places. They encourage the residents to do for themselves. My father, recently being diagnosed with alzheimer's, has had day people coming in while my mother goes out. While these ladies are very nice and pleasant their care has taken away my father's chores, such as dish washing and coffee making. In the last 15 years or so my father has not exactly been what you would call active tho I believe the lose of these daily items has diminished his capacity. Talking with the experts at the facilities gives me great hope that once he is there he will regain some of those old routines and he will blossom. One extraordinary thing about one place in particular is only in extreme cases do they suggest they move on to a nursing home. They try their best to keep them there. Of course, I know all this could just be salesmanship but the atmosphere definitely was one of warmth seeing how the residents react to the caregivers. This process is never an easy one tho I do feel somewhat better after my visits.