I know I said I would stay away but given that I’m the one overseeing Mom’s care, that’s a little hard to do. So I went today because she has a bath on Monday and Thursday and I wanted to see if her hair was clean. It’s been greasy looking the last few times so I was concerned.
When I arrived, I first checked her room to ensure everything was in order. Temperature was comfortable and some things were laid on the top of her dresser – unusual because she has been “packing” everything in her drawers. Otherwise the room was neat and clean. I then searched out Mom.
Mom has been going to the day program in the smaller section of the home that is specifically for residents in the later stages of Alzheimer’s. Mom’s room is in the main area of the home and the residents there are high functioning in the earlier stages. My thought initially was that Mom belonged in the smaller section but I was happy to let the professionals spend time with her so that they could make an educated decision about her needs. They quickly found that she was lost in the mainstream and the habits of the later stages were even more pronounced due to the stress caused by that feeling. Consequently, they decided to see if she would adjust more readily to the smaller section.
I found Mom happily rocking her babies. She was very happy to see me but didn’t make a move to get up. She was quite busy.
We talked and her only distress was that she couldn’t get “home” when she wanted to – but she wasn’t referring to my home. I realized “home” has become her room in the main area of the facility! Woo hoo! Although she is currently not happy that she can’t get to her room during the day, she has made the leap mentally to it being her home!
After having me hold the babies for a bit while she “helped” get the dining room ready for lunch, she told me to put them to bed and she would check in on them after lunch. We took a walk outside and then a couple walks around the little rectangle that is the facility. We talked about how they (the staff) need her help with things and she seemed happy with that. It was also obvious that if her room was in that section, she would be happy.
I settled her in for lunch and gave her a hug and kiss goodbye. No upset, no whining – she just gave me a kiss and a smile when I told her I would be back again.
I stopped on the way out and had a conversation with one of the managers. They will have a care meeting in the next week and, dependent upon what resident’s needs are most critical, Mom may just be getting her wish. She might have her room right there in the smaller area!