Sunday afternoon I took my 14 and 17 year old out to visit my grandparents in the retirement home they are now calling home. Driving up to the large facility worried me that my grandparents would be depressed and longing for their apartment.
As we arrived we could hear the distinct yelping lady crying “help, help, help” This was not a great start to our perception of the facility. We found my grandparents room and were very pleasantly surprised to find that they were actually sharing a room! They had been told that they would be in rooms next door to each other and instead my grandparents now have their own space within this retirement home…a relief for them both but also creates a challenge in that they have not slept in the same room in years! They will adjust I am sure!
A very good friend of theirs is a minister named Wayne who brought another wonderful person named Angelica for a visit while we were there. My grandparents were very happy to have so many visitors and we headed down to find a room where we could all sit together and chat.
The first recreation room had my grandfather complaining about one of the residents. This old guy gets up before everyone else in order to get the remote control for the TV and he doesn’t leave his chair until bedtime. No one can get the remote from him, no one can get him to change the channel…A strange old grumpy man that my grandfather is not impressed with!
A nurse came into the room and told us that the greenhouse room was empty and had lots of chairs for us to relax in. We headed down there and sat in a big circle…As Megan quipped it looked like a group therapy circle…..
My grandparents shared the stories of their experiences in the home so far.. my grandfather has been there for a month and my grandmother arrived Friday. The nurses and aids all love my grandpa already and he is always a favorite! He raved about how he had actually signed up to do activities , he was joining an exercise class and looking forward to that!
My grandmother didn’t like how they kept coming into their room in the night, she found an aid going through her drawer and asked what she was doing…the nurses have to ensure that the residents don’t have sharp objects, hidden drugs or other items that are considered no no’s for the residents. They also have to make sure that the residents haven’t wandered off or had a health crisis.
As we were chatting a lady in a wheelchair wandered by in the hall…she had a red elmo doll in her lap and she was talking in nonsensical words. My grandparents look at her and feel sad, they know its possible they will get that bad too..
Another lady walked by and stopped by the door of the greenhouse she was bent over and killing herself laughing for no apparent reason….she would get up take a few steps and start laughing again…I looked and Megan and she was rolling her eyes…I realized that this old lady is me in the future…My kids agreed…they can so see me wandering halls and laughing for no apparent reason. My daughter assured me they will be putting me in a home and i am not likely to have many visitors when i am like that….thats ok cause apparently I will be enjoying my time anyway! I would much rather be the laughing one versus the one crying help, help,., talking nonsense , or being mean to everyone!
I have seen my future and I am happy with it…..giggle giggle!
The people that work in the home seem wonderful and I am comforted that my grandfather is so happy in the retirement facility. A great chance to tell them I love them and share some laughs! A great day and a great visit!