Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Mom is Moving to an Assisted Living HOME

Before I get into mom's new place to live, I want to share a breakfast she and I shared on Monday. 

For many years after they moved back to the Sacramento Area, Mom and Dad would eat at the Cornerstone Restaurant on San Juan Avenue near Greenback.  Monday, Sandy and I wanted to show mom the new place we want to move her to, and we had an appointment at 1 pm to see it, and for them to see be sure they knew how mobile she is or isn't.  So I suggested to mom that we go to Cornerstone for a late breakfast, and she eagerly agreed.  I arrived to her place at 9:30, and she was sitting up and just about ready to go.  By 9:45 we were out the door.  Above is a picture off the Internet of the interior of the restaurant.  Off to the right out of the picture are 5 or 6 tables which will seat up to 7 or 8 people, depending how close everyone wants to sit.  Those tables are the ones a group of us, like Mom, Dad, Sandy, Arny, Patti, Marcia and I, would use.

Mom had not been to the Cornerstone Restaurant for a long time.  She enjoyed looking around, seeing if she recognized any of the workers, and made a comment that "It looked like it had not changed...".  Shortly after I took this picture, the waitress who was in charge came over and said, "Long time no see....How are you?"  Mom lite up like a Christmas Tree.  I let her know about dad passing, and asked about a few other staff that I remembered...none of them work there anymore.  Mom asked about the cook(s) and the lady responded that the one mom was asking about still works there, but is off on Monday...and that the guy working on this day has been there for about 5 or 6 years now, which is why he looked familiar to mom.

Mom ordered the Huevos Rancheros plate, I had a Veggie Omelet.  Look at how BIG her plate was!

Over an hour later, she finished just about everything but the potatoes, which I don't think she even touched.  By noon we were over at Sandy's, and by 12:40 we were on our way to our 1 pm appointment.

A little history ....   Mom and Dad moved to an Assisted Living Facility back in 2016.  They first lived at the Brookdale Orangevale Assisted Living facility, now called Blossom Vale Senior Living.  In the summer of 2019, they moved to The Terraces Assisted Living Facility in Roseville because it is closer to both Patti and to Sandy.  Overall, we liked the Terraces better than Brookdale...we have no idea what it is like there now that it is Blossom Vale.  Both of these facilities offered trips in their bus/van to area restaurants, and occasionally day trips up into the mountains or over to the Bay Area. 

After Dad passed, mom stayed in the same one bedroom apartment (for lack of a better term).  She enjoyed going on outings, visiting with other residents, playing Bingo and partaking in other activities.  This past September her last remaining sibling, Mary, had passed.  This seemed to hit her, even though she said it didn't.  Over the next few months she stayed in her apartment more and more.  She hated it when they forced her to stay in her apartment during various Covid attacks these past three years late March she seemed to hate going out.  She caught Covid in February or early March, but recovered with little difficulty.  However, that seemed to the straw that broke the camel's back.

Over the past two months I found that if we could get her out of bed for lunch, she would typically go down to dinner too.  So I have been going over there once or twice just about every day, and she has been better.  But the Assisted Living Facility staff just could not convince her to get out of bed like a family member could...but they charged us an extra $500 per month for trying, and typically failing, in that department.  We all felt she was headed for a Nursing Home, which we know she would not like at all.  Then Patti's renter (who works with older folks) told Patti about an Assisted Living Home which a CNA had told her about.  Last week Sandy and Patti looked into not only that home, but five others.  We all liked the first one they looked at, and that is where Sandy and I took Mom on Monday.  Patti turned in a 30 day notice on Monday with a "earlier if possible" request to the Terraces.  They have someone who wants a one bedroom NOW, so we are able to move Mom out this Saturday.  The home has no more than six residents, with a minimum of two staff always on hand.  There is another 'sister' home three houses down, and being in the very rural area of Antelope, the distance could easily fit eight to ten houses on both sides of the street if they were all pushed up next to each other.  The two homes occasionally have activities, such as a BBQ, from time to time.  The person in charge of the homes lives nearby, so we feel Mom will be safe and secure...and with more staff attention, we hope this will get her out of bed and active a bit more.  On the downside, if you want to call it that, she will not have her 'own phone', but only because she does not want to learn how to use a cell phone...even one made for seniors.  There will be no bus/van outings, but she has stopped those anyway.  The food choices at each meal will be more limited, but she is not a picky eater.  Depending upon how the cards are dealt from here on out, she may not end up in a Nursing Home situation because this home will work the resident the best they can, including through Hospice Care if needed.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Rattlesnake Gets My Middle Finger


Last Tuesday (9th) I found myself confronted with a small, young Rattlesnake which was threatening Indy.  I rushed over, got her out of the way.  Saw an opportunity to grab it, which I did just behind the head.  Lifted it up and the little sucker turned his head and tried to bite me (should have had him closer to the back of the head).  

I yell "NO!  NO!  NO!" and I toss the snake up against the stucco wall.

BAM!  I feel the most excruciating pain rushing over my entire right fingers.  I immediately WAKE UP, and cry out OUCH!   Yes, it was a dream...I had just hit the Closet/Dresser which is on each side of the head of our queen bed.  Marcia says, "Are you OK?  I heard you yell out NO! NO! NO! and then you hit the side of the closet...."  I told her about the known as the "Snake from HELL!"

I got up and went to my chair in our living area.  I could not move any of my fingers on the right hand.  I smothered my fingers with Aspercreme and just kept saying "OUCH, OUCH, OUCH!"  We have no ice.  I could have put an open bag of peas on it, but I did not want to clean up the peas from the floor when it broke open.  I sat there for a few hours just rubbing my fingers, eventually moving them a bit at a time, and suffer like no man has ever suffered before!  (well, a bit dramatic there, but at the time...)

Around 9 am I head over to Walgreens and get an Ice Pack that you freeze, two Ice Packs that you bust and they immediately freeze, a finger brace (shown in picture above).  By now it is only my middle finger that I cannot move, the other three hurt, but I can move them pretty good.  The middle finger hurts like hell. The brace helps immensely.  I start a regiment of putting the ice pack on my hand for 20 minutes every 90-180 minute intervals.  Sandy and Patti were leaving Wednesday for a week, and they both went by to see mom, separately, on Tuesday.

Here it is Saturday, four full days later.  I took those pictures of my finger with my cell phone on Wednesday, perhaps Thursday.  The swelling had gone down, but still is much better today, but still swollen right now.  I still wear the finger brace when I am out and about, but not as much when I am in the motorhome, or in Arny's garage or backyard.  I can put my entire hand around a cold can of seltzer (smaller but taller can than a soda or beer can.) 

So this is my bird finger as of now, just took it a few minutes ago.

This is as far as I can bend it without help (like a Seltzer can to wrap it around.)

I exercise it often throughout the day.  A little pain, but the mobility (and pain) is getting better.

As for the snake....I banished it to pit of fire...Indy was not harmed by the snake...

Note:  Mom turned 93 at the end of April.  She is having some imaginary visitors...little kids who she has never seen before.  Dad visits too, but does not answer her when she asks him questions.  I told her that she is probably having dreams which seem real when she wakes up.  Told her Dad could not answer her because he is with the Lord...communication has to go through the Lord, not directly with Dad.  That seemed to help a bit.

She is less isolated than before, but still likes to sleep for 12-14 hours each day.  With Sandy and Patti out of town, we will celebrate Mother's Day next Sunday.  Brother Bob is suppose to stop by tomorrow to see her, and I will spend a few hours with her too.