Amazing Progress — Dad is Finally Taking Part in Outside ALF Activities

Dad never ceases to amaze me.  He has been living in an assisted living situation for over 2 years now.  Even before that, his main occupation has been to sit back in his lazy boy, though he used to listen to music while doing so.  For the past year, he seemed to just sit and think or sleep with little else to occupy himself.

In the past few months, he has been spending time in the television lobby rather than staying in his room.  I thought that showed great progress.  Until recently,  I didn’t realize that he was starting to get involved in other activities as well.

Last week, he showed me a little Thanksgiving turkey that he had made with Styrofoam balls and pipe cleaners the other day.  I mentioned it to the aide as I thought it was the “lady friend” that was getting him involved in more activities.

The aide told me that they had a new activities director, a young man who has been successful in getting dad to take part in other activities that he had shunned up until recently.  However, while I knew he was getting up and out of his room more, I was still surprised when I got today’s mail.

Dad has a cash “bank account” with the ALF administration.  I put in $80 when he first moved in over 18 months ago so if he wanted money for any activity he would have access to it.  Each month for the past 18 months, the ALF has sent me an audited statement showing that dad still had his $80 in his cash account.

Until now.  Today I got an audited form showing that dad had accessed his account twice in the past month.  Dad has apparently taken part in two lunch excursions on the shuttle van with his peers.  He went to the Olive Garden once and to a local Beer Garden for lunch once.  Both times he had lunch and a drink, and I received copies of his receipts today.

Wow!  I was stunned.  After all these years, dad has finally gotten up out of his chair and out of the building and joined in some outside activities!  I was pleased as punch.  I had been pleased to see he was taking part in craft activities, but this was even more surprising.  I am so happy for him.  I hope he will keep this up, though I will have to remember to deposit more money into his cash account!

(I will point out that three years ago when I visited mom and dad down south, I had a mobile home in a nearby park.  One day I had a friend drive mom and dad to visit me so I could have them over for lunch.  And dad refused to get out of the car and go see my mobile home!  Dad was already set in his ways – and that was 3 years ago!  So you can see how far he has come now that he is willing to go out on activities with his ALF!)

I can’t even convince dad to come to my house for lunch, though I take him to restaurants a few times a month.  I don’t know if he is afraid I won’t bring him back to his room or what!  Nevertheless, I am pleased to see he is now going out with a group for some activities.  I hope he will continue to do so.


About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
This entry was posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living Facility, Caregiving, Elder Care, Eldercare and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Amazing Progress — Dad is Finally Taking Part in Outside ALF Activities

  1. terry1954 says:

    that is wonderful to hear, it will brighten his spirits so much and bring some of his youth back

    • Thanks, Terry. I think his spirits are much better this year than last. I don’t know if his outings are part of the reason, or a result of better spirits, but either way it is good dor him. Mom is gone almost 2 full years and I know he still misses her. But he needs to live on and enjoy the time he has ledt, and he finally seems to be doing that.

  2. jmgoyder says:

    I, too, have been surprised at Anthony’s willingness to participate in various nursing loge events and outings! This is great news about your dad.

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