The 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.