Tonight was the NH Christmas party. Wasn't sure how mom would react to going into the dining room where it was held as she becomes very agitated being around so many people, but she was just fine!
She was rather chatty tonight, which is a blessing. Told hubby to watch her while I get the drinks and she even said that she couldn't drink alcohol!! I must say, she was right on her game tonight. It was almost like old times sitting around the local American Legion and having a conversation. Not to mention, that many of the members from that club came to the party as well and came over to give mom a hug and kiss. I think she felt right at home.
We only stayed for an hour as mom said she was ready to get going on "home" but it's an hour I'll treasure.
I guess the point of my story is that it's not always doom and gloom. Sometimes seeing a smile on your loved ones face that isn't always there anymore, can do wonders for them and for us.
I am so very pleased for you Sunny!! What a wonderful evening. Any good hour is to be treasured. I am sure it was nice to see Mom having such a good night and enjoying herself while you beamed. No, it's not all doom and gloom. There are precious moments to be treasured. You just have to find them.... and you found a phantastic one. I am so very happy for you May you have many more....
My mother also enjoyed parties and events at the NH. Every holiday was celebrated with a special party, once an Elvis impersonater came, often live music, singers, and of course many game nights. My mom thought all these people were friends and relatives. She was friendly and outgoing and made a lot of new friends.
This is an aspect of NH life that many people don't know about, and thus they fear having their loved one at a place where it is all doom and gloom.
The staff at Mom's NH made decorations for every holiday too, whether it was Christmas or Valentines or the fourth of July, something cheerful was hanigng up and there was special entertainment. Mom also enjoyed the birthday parties - every month all those who had a birthday that month were honored and everyone got ice cream and cake.
Life in a nursing home is not bad, you just have to find the right one!
You are so right Martha and I think that is an important message to get out to those struggle with whether to move their loved ones or not. I had some of the same misgivings until I learned better.
There are new decorations at least once a month at my parents facility. Each redecoration involves a party they can participate in with refreshments and appropriate music. I was there last weekend for the Christmas decorating and it looked like great fun for all those that participated. Several times a year they have a dance with elaborate decorations and a DJ. This is Mom's favorite activity since she loves to dance. I was at the Sock Hop and it was amazing to see little old ladies with walker up shaking a leg and singing to the old songs they know. There are quarterly parties with family members invited. There is an ice cream social every sunday afternoon, Happy Hour three afternoons a week, movies and popcorn a couple times a week, and something always going on in the Parlor or the activity room. At least once a week there is lunch out and a shopping trip. Several times a month they have trips to interesting places, including the beach, a winery, plays, or sporting events. Each day they get a printed schedule of events and there is no way to do them all. Dad loves the scenic tours. They all load on the bus and drive around to see the sights while they sing laugh and talk. The bus is always full! Family that is visiting is welcome at any activity with their loved one. I enjoy being there with all the fun they have That is the good side of the new facilities!!
Exactly! I have been trying to tell this side of the story ever since Mom got there, over 2 years ago.
Sometimes a person looks at me with 'that look' and says "I would never put MY Mom in one of those places." And I feel bad.
But I eventually learned that I don't have to feel bad for someone else's ignorance - not knowing the facts and basing their opinion on the occasional scandal and the NHs of the 1950s.
At Mom's NH a young nurse's aide married a male nurse - and after the church wedding they actually came to the NH in their wedding clothes to have a reception for the patients. My Mom talked about that for months.
In my opinion most people who work there are dedicated, not money hungry, and really care for helpless, confused old people with love.
If I can convince one overworked harassed 24/7 caregiver to try a good NH or AL facility, I will have done my part!
I am so glad that you had a good party! Who spiked the punch? LOL...Isn't it fun when they are all laughing and singing and having a good time? I know that my mom enjoyed the time that she had there. They were always having a sing along or a tell me about when.... they truly do try to keep the residents involved as much as possible.
I'm with you Martha. When I was working in LCT our maintenance man married one of the housekeepers..... in our dinning rooom and all the residents and their families were invited. The room was filled and it was an amazing day.
Most don't work there for the money because they pay is not enough to make anybody rich. The ones that stay are dedicated and love their job. I know I did and I can see myself going back one day. No facility is perfect and not every caregiver has wings..... but there is nothing better than one that strives for both!
Finding the right Nursing Home is just like finding the right Child Care Center/Preschool for your child. You have to take the time to research the program/facility. Visit often. Observe the staff and the other patients. Also last but not least you can tell within 5 minutes of being inside a place if it is the right one or not. You get a feeling that tells you. The face's of the staff and patients generally will say it all.
I couldn't have placed my mom in a better facility. Even the nursing supervisors took time to come over to mom last night and give her a hug and chat for a bit. Mom didn't recognize them because they were out of uniform so we all had a laugh over that. Mom calls one nurse "the teacher"! LOL! She thinks she's in school sometimes. LOL!
Living in this small city, I know many of the people who are employed there; not to mention there are many who have a parent there as well. So we're kind of like one big family over there.
All in all, it was kind of like having my sociable mom back for a bit instead of her being so frightened by all the people. Knowing she won't be able to be home for Christmas, makes me feel as though at least we had last night to celebrate a bit.