Recreating Familiar for Mom at the New Community

teacupThe actual move went off smoothly. I hired Vanessa Seifert with Squared Away Living to help me. She is a professional organizer, and has helped many families move loved ones into retirement communities. She packed up the items in the morning and by the time we arrived, Mom’s room was put together.

My mom is getting hospice care from Capital Caring and I had notified them of the move. When we pull up, her new wheelchair and bed are arriving. (I will discuss the whole complicated issue of hospice vs. palliative care on a future post.) I was most worried mom’s bed wouldn’t be here and had a back-up plan so she could take a nap if she needed one.

The personal daily assistant (pda) followed me to the new facility and will stay with mom to help her get settled. Since I haven’t managed transporting mom in a wheelchair, I was thankful to have the extra help getting her into my car. When we arrive, we are greeted by the marketing associate who helps us get mom to an activity to immediately engage her.

I spent some time in mom’s room finishing up picture placement and brought an iron. I wanted to make sure we had name tags in her clothes and knew some that we moved were unmarked.

The executive director comes to welcome me. We have moved my moms tea-cup collection and she expresses concern that other residents might come in and take them. I tell her this is more about having mom surrounded by familiar things. She then eyes the iron sitting in the corner. I see her expression and share that it’s mine and I’m putting some labels in mom’s clothes. She laughs and tells me that her mom, who also had dementia, had a habit of hiding knives in her bed. I assure her that I won’t be leaving the iron in my mom’s room.

It is comforting to know that the woman running this community has cared for a loved one with dementia. I’m finding that the deeper I delve into both the dementia and end-of-life community, the more passionate, experienced and dedicated people I meet. This journey certainly has changed my life permanently and it’s nice to be surrounded by others who have walked or are still walking this path. There is no quick fix to mom’s need and care, it’s ever-changing and complicated. I’m focused on her journey, not the destination. Comforted. 

9 thoughts on “Recreating Familiar for Mom at the New Community

  1. I’m glad you got your mom settled in, Kay. I hope that it is a good experience for both of you going forward.

    I noticed that you mentioned palliative care and hospice in this post, and I’ve written posts on both explaining the difference and also highlighting some of the complications and issues, so I’ll just include the links for your reference:

    Palliative Care:

    Hospice Care:

    Keeping you all in my prayers daily.


  2. I hope things go well for you and for your mum in her new home. I was going to ask about hospice care for people with dementia as I’ve seen it mentioned on a few blogs and it’s not something we have in Scotland so I was glad to see the links Sandra put up. I will read them tomorrow. Here, we have special nurses who can provide palliative care at home for people with cancer and care in a hospice for terminally ill cancer patients but there isn’t anything for people with Alzheimers or dementia.

  3. I appreciate your comment about the experienced, compassionate people you have met; my experience was similar and one of the things I have tried to emphasize in my writing (in fact, it was one of the motivations to start the blog). There are so many sweeping generalizations about care facilities which were completely unfounded, at least in our situation. I think it might help alleviate families’ fears if more of us would write about our positive experiences. Excellent post (I am catching up with my reading-and writing-), Hallie

    1. It’s just hard! There are positives and negatives to every option. I am always gonna look for the positives. I am a better person for traveling this journey – although no one would ever want to choose this path.

      1. I absolutely agree. I learned so much about my mom and myself…it strengthened our relationship…I feel like a different (and like you, I hope better) person as a result…I do not mean to imply that the nursing home was perfect…nor that I would ever choose this path (as you said)…but once there, I am grateful I was eventually able to embrace both the experience and “lessons”…Hallie

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