Friday, December 12, 2014

Dad's New Digs.

I received a text from Greg, Dad's caregiver last week, asking if we could have a meeting; either at the end of that week, or some time this week. This, of course, struck fear into my heart, since meeting requests can signify bad news, and bad news from the place you hope your parent will spend the rest of their life is really bad. I texted back asking if it was urgent (hoping he would say no!), or could we meet this week on the day I was planning to come over anyway, which turned out to be what we did.

I got to Dad's house, and walked into the living room, saying hello to the Romanian couple that lives there and does most of Dad's care. They're a really nice pair, very quiet, but I know they really care for my father well. I was pulled into the kitchen by the wife, who handed me a paper towel-wrapped, hot, deep-fried stick of dough that when I bit into it revealed some delicious mix of Romanian-spiced sausage and ground hamburger. I happily finished it off while sitting with Dad and waiting for Greg. I knew that if Dad got one of these for dinner, he would be very happy.

As it turned out, Greg wanted to let me know that they would be re-carpeting the house, but he didn't anticipate any problems. He also wanted to ask whether I would agree to move Dad into a different room; a room he took me to view while he explained the choice. Dad has been in the same room since he moved in (five years ago!) but this new room is a little bit bigger and it has a big, tiled bathroom that is half shower, with bars on the wall. They want Dad to have something to hold on to for safety while they shower him, and the fact that it's a nice big wet room will really help them. It'll be a little more money, but I'm all for it.

As Greg and I chatted about Dad and the fact that he had been there so long, Greg went to get a photo of one of their residents, who still lives there, from twenty-years ago! I'm not sure what her illness is but it's degenerative, and at first, her husband lived there with her, until he died. I've had lunch with this lady, who seems happy and healthy. If one ever had a doubt about the care one's parent is getting, or the dedication of the staff, or the question of whether they're providing a comfortable, safe environment - I will tell you that seeing a picture of a resident who has been there twenty years will go a long way towards allaying any doubts or fears!

The fact that Greg and his family have been doing this for twenty years shows real love and dedication for what they do. Their desire to move Dad for his health and well-being only shows that to me again. I will always wonder deep down if I've picked the right place and right people, and I'll worry that he's not getting good care or that something bad will happen - all of those doubts and fears that just happen when you are trusting someone else to care for a loved one. I'm pretty sure this is a good place, however, and the right place - and that they just might love Dad almost as much as I do.

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