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Mom and Dad: One Week In

Moving my parents has definitely consumed my time and my life and I haven’t had time for much else. So you’ll have to bear with me as I post these updates. Decorating and everything else will have to come later. I figured you all were invested in knowing what’s happening, so it has changed since last week. We’re still exhausted a week later. I guess one day we will get caught up with everything, but it’s been such a busy week, I don’t know which end is up. I’m sure that all of you who have been through moving your parents know exactly what I’m talking about. We started cleaning out their house this week too, so it’s been doubly exhausting.

I never gave you a real tour of their room in the last post and you won’t believe this, but I never took real pics of the room after we got it set up, so I had to grab screenshots of these pics from videos I took on Instagram, so they are really really bad. I will go back later and take real pictures to put in this post, but for now you get the idea. It’s a cute and homey space and mom really loves it.

This is the main living area (that’s Renee and Bruce after we worked all day on moving day to get their room set up). Moving day was October 1st. We brought this colorful rug from their dining room to add some color in here and both recliners and a side table in between with a lamp. The kitchen area is compact and we brought their microwave and coffee pot, but I doubt they will use them much.

We brought lots of family pictures to fill up this bookcase (which is homemade by my dad years ago.) It just fit this wall coming in the door.

Across from the recliners is a TV mounted on the wall and we bought this book holder piece which looks like Bombay Company to me to ground the TV. We ended up mounting it since the guys there at the facility would do that for us. Now there’s room for pictures and books.

On a side note, I had a go around with Xfinity on getting mom’s TV and land line telephone installed. As of this writing the land line is still not working, so I’ll be checking on that Monday. The TV was working the day they moved in and 5 days later as I was working my way through getting the correct phone cables to hopefully get their telephone working, I thought I was there on Wednesday night, waiting for activation so that we would get a dial tone finally, when BOOM nothing worked. I was on the phone with customer service and the girl (who barely spoke English) told me that apparently someone that was in the space before mom and dad had not paid their bill, so they cut the service off after 5 days and nothing worked. I was so frustrated. Luckily there’s a nearby store so I went in there and finally on Friday got a manager to help me. I told him what had happened to my mom. We had taken all the necessary paperwork in there to prove who she was and that she was indeed newly moved in. He finally got it all straight and the TV was working on Friday afternoon and he said the telephone should work soon, so I won’t rest until her land land is up and running. They’ve had that phone # for 50 years and she wasn’t about to let it go now!

Oh, the perils of moving!

An extra chair from their den fits in this corner. I bought a couple of those tray tables that can be moved around in case they want to eat in the room.

This gives a shot of the recliners and end table between them, just perfect for their needs. We hung lots of family pics around the room.

The bedroom is plenty spacious for their queen bed. There are two closets, a small one and larger one.

Mom’s little reading chair fits in the corner. That’s a mechanical closet behind the chair, so it doesn’t need access all the time.

Most of the clothes hang in the smaller closet, as well as shoes. There was room to slide their dresser into the closet and still have space above for shelves.

This little balcony is so cute and we took their porch furniture out there.

This is the view from their 3rd floor balcony. That’s the neighboring Holbrook, an independent living community and these 2 are owned by the same company.

This is the view right outside their room. There’s a lot of living spaces around the facility for lounging if the residents want to come out of their room or if they have company and want more space. It’s sure to come in handy.

Just down from there is this space known as the Bistro. It has ice, coffee, hot water, and snacks. There’s so many opportunities for eating, they will never go hungry.

Right across from the Bistro is this covered porch overlooking the courtyard below. My dad will enjoy these outdoor spaces for sure.

Mom in her recliner enjoying this apartment last weekend right after moving in.

Back to mom and dad. Mom is so enjoying this new way of living already. Just look at that smile. She was reading me a devotion one morning this week when I came over before lunch. I shared it on Instagram stories and everyone loved it.

So, the big change that happened over the weekend after I wrote my post last weekend. I told you all that daddy was having a hard time with the move. He was agitated and threatened to walk out and leave. He asked for his car keys and car numerous times (threatened to call the PO-lice on me and that we were all out of the will!) and we had to keep him occupied all weekend long to keep him from trying to get out. He wouldn’t have made it out from the 3rd floor anyway and didn’t even find the elevator, but it was a very stressful weekend with him being so agitated about being away from home. He would be calm about 1/2 the time and agitated 1/2 the time.

On Monday, we talked to the managers at Dogwood and it was decided by all of us that the best thing to do was to move him to memory care. They will take care of him and manage his needs over there and he’s safe and sound and can’t get out. We won’t see him for at least 2 weeks and they are keeping us posted on him almost daily. He’s gotten some new dementia meds that we hope will help calm and stabilize him so that he can settle in here as his new home. At this point we don’t know if or when he will be able to go back and join mom. Maybe, maybe not. They aren’t being super optimistic about that right now. There are other couples here who are separated and one is in assisted living and the other in memory care, so they aren’t the only ones. If he did go back with mom, it would be very difficult as his memory is so bad I’m not sure that he would ever remember how to get up and down in the elevator and certainly not by himself. Mom would have to navigate all of that for him and we really want her to enjoy her time there.

She’s already having a ball playing bingo, going to Bible study, and sittercize and we want that for her. She deserves it after taking care of daddy for 68 years. She has been a faithful devoted wife and it’s time for her to be pampered and waited on. She already looks so much happier just by moving and having all the burdens lifted from her shoulders. She’s interested in getting up and getting dressed every morning, going to breakfast and then activities. She got a new walker that is working really well and she says her back doesn’t hurt nearly as much with it, so mom is settling in so well.

(Really bad picture and I had to cut out the other people for privacy, but daddy is saying the blessing here).

We’ve had videos and pictures sent to us from memory care this week. It’s in a wing on the first floor and mom is on the 3rd floor. We won’t see him for at least 2 weeks and I have no idea what he will be like when we see him again. We know he’s been asking about mom and they distract him and keep him busy as he settled in his first week there. It’s comforting to know that he’s just in another wing and is safe. We told them to ask him to say the blessing at meals and everyone now knows that he’s a retired Pastor.

The videos we’ve received of him saying the blessing are so heart warming. That man can still pray like no one else! His prayers are full of gratitude and you know he knows Who he’s talking to. They all clap and call him Pastor now and that’s so heart warming. We were hoping that he would somehow realize that he could be a blessing in this new community of friends that surround him now. I think he will grasp that somehow even though he may never articulate it. He has a heart of gold and people have always loved his warm personality and he’s definitely a hit over there, as mom is on the assisted living side.

So, even if they don’t get to stay together from here on out (we will just have to see how it goes in the coming weeks and months), they can both live a good life and we can go and see dad all the time and even take him outside and out of the building when the time comes. It certainly is not what we had planned, but this is where we are. We had to do that to keep the peace. There’s no way he could stay with mom and all of us be gone, he was just too agitated to settle down on his own. We hope and pray that he comes to enjoy this new community and that he really does make friends and enjoy the people that surround him.

It’s now a part of our family and we are so enjoying getting to know the people there as well. They are so warm and friendly, the residents as well as the staff. We could not be happier with our choices of assisted living facilities and so far it’s going so well. Mom is absolutely loving it. She loves the people, the new friends, her little apartment, and the food. She raves about the food! Daddy is eating so well too and eating is his favorite thing in the world. He will get plenty of desserts there too, lunch and dinner. It really is good for mom not to have to worry about dad right now. He’s a handful and she has been worn out trying to take care of herself and him too. We’re so glad she gets a break as well.

It’s been an exhausting week to say the least, but we are filled with gratitude that they are in a safe place and happy. We have a lot more to do, but Renee and I are already starting to sell things and clean out their house getting ready to sell in in a couple of months. They won’t be going back, so it’s onward we go. We got a good start this week, but have lots more to go. That part is exhausting too, but I know we’ll make it. Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes, they are definitely felt and appreciated. Of course, I’ll keep you updated along the way. As of now, they are both doing well and I wanted to share how the week went.

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