Wednesday, July 22, 2009

graduation day~~~

No caps and gowns this time around. Yet, my dad graduates to a new phase in his life as he moves across the bridge and over into the Holbrrook community of Piper Shores.

My dad's stuff has been moved to the assisted living community of Piper Shores. As my mom mentioned earlier in the week, my dad told her in a lucid moment, " let us count the number of living rooms our family members are going to have." I was even thinking the same thought. We will have 5 for our family members, one for each one of us.
And my dad is getting a whole big closet again and when I stay, I will be able to be in his old room and will have the whole room to myself. You see, I graduated from sleeping on an inflatable bed in the room to being in my own twin luxury bed next to my dad and now the whole room to myself.

My dad and i look alike and at birth, people knew whose son I was. It will seem different when i go up to visit next month not having my roommate whom I have spent time in many states from Arizona to Minnesota to Maine. But there comes a time in life when those transitions need to be made. We talked about it frequently in a "if things don't improve, you' ll go over the bridge to Holbrook assisted living. Not that I am positively thrilled with the outcome but I am relieved that Dad will be watched and if he tries to take a 3 am shower, he will have staff monitoring his activities and he will have activities to participate in.

To get ready for the move, my mom had to label the linens and clothing with laundry marker -almost reminding her of getting her kids ready for camp. That is the benefit of having built in respite for caregiving. Maybe this change will refresh everyone involved and be a full blessing for our family as well.

That is the trouble with dementia and not being fully aware of one's surroundings. I read in the winter a great book, Still Alice, by Lisa Genova who illustrated alzheimers from the perspective of the patient and the downward spiral. It was funny and yet poignant in parts. I have witnessed similar things in my dad since he has an alzheimer's type dementia.

And I know God was in this whole adventure when one of the cleaning staff who helped clean my folk's unit showed my dad what one of the assisted living rooms, C309 , looked like and then when mom shared with the nursing staff of his activity at night, they took action and approved him for the room.

So life has its changes yet Dad will have activities with peers his own age and condition. Something that has been really needed yet not present when he was on the independent side.

So no more snoring or risings up to witness. Let's hope that is not me in 35 years from now. But that is the beauty of life care, thanks to be introduced to it by my dad's sister, Marion, who was a nurse in Florida and lived in that very kind of community.

And thanks to my mom's keen eye in seeing Piper Shores in Down East one summer advertised even before shovels went in the ground. For they even went on site during construction with their hard hats to witness its going up.

So don't forget to turn your tassel to the side, Dad,when you walk into C309 and enjoy the new chapter in life as well.


Anonymous said...

thanks Scott for helping us walk with you and your dad through this transition.
Clif Davis

Sister Cindy said...

We are having the same adventure--we are moving my mother in law into assisted living next week. She has Alzheimers. I told her today that life is like a book--she's just moving onto a new chapter, like we all do. It's hard, though, isn't it? Being the child and watching our parents age is so difficult. Inevitable, though. Thanks for sharing.

Rose said...

HI Scott~Jesus will be there waiting for your father even before he gets there~I pray that God's Spirit gives him comfort and joy during this transition to a new home. God bless, Rose