As usual, I went to visit dad at his Assisted Living Facility today. They had the ALF all decorated for Christmas and it looked very nice. When I commented on the decorations, dad looked at me like he hadn’t noticed at all. Still, I think it helps the residents remember what time of year it is.
This week dad had signed up to go to the Steakhouse with the ALF on their regular luncheon outing trip. He told me they went to a different place but he wasn’t sure why. (It turns out that the first place didn’t open until 4 and they went for lunch).
I was impressed that dad signed himself up to go, that he went and remembered he had gone, and that he was anxious to go again. The new activity director told me dad is much more likely to sign himself up for these outings now and that he really enjoys going out with the group.
Dad has been in the lounge most days when I went to visit him. He is generally by himself watching (or not watching) the television which runs constantly in the small lounge. Today he was in his room as he had just returned there to use the bathroom.
This worked out well as my son and grandson also went to visit dad today. For some reason, my grandson has decided he is more comfortable visiting dad in his own room than in the lounge. He also starts out shy and refuses to greet his great-grandfather.
My son solves this problem with bribes. If George wants to play with the smart phone in his dad’s pocket, he must first greet his great-grandfather with a “high five”. This works and starts George towards a better mood as well.
Today was mostly a smart phone and iPad day as little George played with these modern “toys”. Although he has just turned 3, he can choose his own game and begin to play. Today he was playing cards on the iPad and told my son he “had a spade!” which he did. George is learning the cards in the deck with his dad as he has started playing “Hearts” at home.
Dad does more watching than talking, but he does smile at the appropriate times and he loves to have the company in his room. He asked me to bring him more Pepsi and snacks and I told him I had brought some today and would bring more next time.
I didn’t see the newspaper in the room today. I asked dad if it had come. He said “I never get the newspaper”. Well, actually I pay for him to get it 7 days a week and he had been getting it. I asked at the front desk but since it was a weekend they weren’t sure if he had gotten one or not. I will ask tomorrow.
I know dad doesn’t remember after he read the paper, but he does enjoy reading it when it is in the room. And since we are now paying 40% more for the paper (price hike!) I want to be sure he is at least getting what we have paid for. So again, I am tracing payments and newspapers. At least dad isn’t worried about it, even though I am frustrated that it wasn’t there.
Dad has pretty well settled into a routine now. I am a bit nervous about going away next month for fear it will change dad’s expected routine. On the other hand, he is much more active with activities both in his ALF and on trips outside the ALF than he was last year. I am very hopeful that dad will continue to do well.
It does seem odd though that as dad is reaching his mid-90’s his health is getting better rather than worse. I hope he can stay well over the winter and not catch the inevitable bugs that go through the assisted living facility.
This coming week I will call the companions that visited him last winter. They have already expressed an interest in working with dad again this year. Now is time to set the day of the week that each will visit. I need to tell them that this year dad has other activities so they might find him out rather than in his room. They will have to schedule around dad’s outings, but I don’t think this will be a problem. I am glad that dad will have so much stimulation both from his contracted companions and also from the activities in his ALF.