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Monday, May 7, 2012

I've had some super wonderful comments and wishes and prayers come with regards to my dad, and I really really REALLY appreciate everyone taking the time to relay their thoughts and feelings :) ... amazing how sometimes the simplest thing makes everything seem ok.

So here's a few things that I wanted to note for you all:

Assisted Living Facilities are NOT nursing homes. The residents maintain individuality and are still somewhat self sufficient ... they need to be able to get up out of a chair or bed on their own, and pretty much dress themselves and bathe/shower with minimal assistance. Most offer medication management which I have a feeling is the primary reason alot of people opt for this with their parents. My father is heavily insulin dependent and is starting to become forgetful (short term memory loss) and I believe he's messed up a few times and refused to tell me ... because he KNEW it was a serious oops to be making.

There are three meals a day provided, along with snacks.

There are a ton of activities going on during the day. Bingo at 1:30 is a HUGE hit for my dad. Not sure yet if he's ventured to the Blackjack and/or Poker game ... but 5 cent Bingo is something he looks forward to .

They have outings. He's not gone on any yet but he's only been there a week come Tuesday. He was talking about joining the 'Mens Club' where they go out once a month for dinner or lunch and a few other things. I think that might be nice for him to do that.

See, you have to remember: my parents did NOT do any type of social interaction in their later years. It makes me sad to realize just how secluded they became now when I look back on it. My dad was always the social butterfly in his younger years and as my mother aged and her weight increased, her mobility deteriorated and she refused to do stuff outside of her home (let alone have anyone come in her home) ... but he ended up going in with her and I was a little bit afraid that he would not be able to adjust ... can I tell you he HAS! I do think he's enjoying himself (although he can't tell me that 100%, you know?)

It's expensive. Yes, it is. BUT, my dad was in the Navy during the Korean War (mid to late 50's?) ... AND even though he did not see front line stuff, he will qualify for Aid and Assistance. This is NOT a well known program and I was thrilled that the local VA Outpatient facility knew about it, and this was one of the reasons I chose this ALF is because they have a gal whose job is solely to file for the VA benefit programs. Love it. (PS - I am NOT one to jump on the bandwagon for free this and free that from the government ... but this is something that he TOTALLY needs to have and to be able to live a comfortable SAFE life. I've opted NOT to have him apply for Medicaid here in Florida as I think the local VA office can provide pretty well along with my assistance as needed).

And ... like anything else, there is an adjustment period. The first few days of him being there was like the first few days of school for kids. "I don't like the nurses." "These people here are older than dirt and not like me." "What do they think I am, deaf?" and so on. But look, a week later and he's made friends, linking up for Bingo every day after lunch and calling me to tell me about the turtle he saw by the lake.

I know there will be good days and bad days ... hopefully more good days than bad! Today, surprisingly came across ok so far, considering this the 5th month anniversary of my moms passing ... he may not realize that, although I did. I should also mention that he didn't realize Saturday was my birthday either  ... which I'm ok with but just goes to show ... it's a whole different game at this stage :)

It was a hard decision to make, both mentally and financially but I feel pretty good that I did the right thing ... and picked the right place. If it's not the right place, we can always locate somewhere else, but I think he likes it here.

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