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January 1, 2007: We Visit With Mom
I made a movie of Mom having lunch; use the player at left to watch it.
March 31, 2007: A Visit With Mom
November 19, 2007: Mom Moves to the Holden Hands Home
So, for about two months now, I have been investigating "group homes." These are regular suburban homes that have been retrofitted for wheelchairs and such and which are staffed 24/7 by at least one caregiver. These homes will feed the residents when needed (which, with Mom, is all the time). Each resident has or shares a bedroom, and residents are not left to sit in their rooms all day, which is what Mom does now. I investigated two different companies that manage these kinds of homes. One, Lexington Place, manages six homes, one quite close to where Mom used to live by Central Expressway. The other, Holden Hands, manages three. They seemed quite similar. Lexington Place offered a space much closer than the Holden Hands home, but its cost was higher and Mom would have to share a bedroom. So, I chose one of the three homes run by Linda Richardson, the owner of Holden Hands.
The Holden Hands Home
In the aerial view, you can see Mom's house. It is a typical size for the neighborhood; about 2500 square feet, I would guess. It is easy to find the house as it is the only one on the street with a circular drive in front. The house has a living room, kitchen, dining room and inside sunporch where residents may watch TV. Then it has six bedrooms and three baths; one of the bathrooms has been enlarged to accommodate wheelchairs and a larger shower.
Inside Mom's New House
Take a look at the kitchen and dining room; Mom is sitting to the right and towards the kitchen. Here is a close-up picture of Mom ready for lunch.
Since lunch isn't quite ready yet, I'm going to walk around and take some pictures of the house. Right behind Mom and a bit to her left is the living room. It doesn't seem to be used much; I have never actually seen anyone sitting there. There is a piano and a fireplace, though, and it is a pleasant room. To the right of the living room as you are looking at it here is the TV area. You can see that there are basically two rows of recliners or overstuffed chairs, and I notice that the caregivers always help the ladies into one of the chairs should they wish to watch TV or just sit with everyone else. This is good, as getting Mom out of her wheelchair occasionally is a good idea. There is one lady that eats at a separate table in this area. Aside from the fact that I have noticed that she occasionally says things when no one is there, I am not sure why she is at a separate table- unless it is that the big dining table already has six ladies. There are eight ladies in the house, 7 who are there because of advanced age and one, who was gone with her family when I was there and who rarely comes out of her large bedroom, has advanced MS.
If you go back through the door on the far side of the living room, you'll find yourself in a hallway that runs behind the fireplace. There are two bedrooms to your left, then the large bathroom, and then Mom's bedroom. One of the reasons I've come by today is to bring the last of Mom's stuff that she will need while living here. We are trying her bed in the corner (although I can say now, since it is January, 2008 when this is being written, that the bed has been moved to stick out into the room underneath the window. This provided both Mom and the caregivers better access.
If you look back at the picture of the TV lounge, I can tell you that there is another large bedroom shared by two residents behind the wall the TV is against. And if you look at the dining room picture, I can tell you there are two bedrooms on the other side of the kitchen- one that is shared and one that is not. So, all in all, the house has space for eight residents.
Well, I've finished my picture taking for today and am back in the dining room. Lunch has been served and Mom is eating the things she can, and I'll help her with the chicken salad. Unlike the Bentley Manor, the evening meal is the large one here; lunch is usually sandwiches or a prepared salad along with cookies, chips and other finger foods. All the meals are prepared by the two caregivers who are present during the day, and one nice thing is that Mom doesn't fill up on Jell-O all the time, as they only have that maybe once or twice a week.
Mom isn't very aware anymore, but I am pretty sure she understands she's been moved. I hope she notices the additional help she is getting, and that this makes her feel better. I know I do.
December 6, 2007: Mom's 96th Birthday
I arrived about eleven-thirty just as the ladies were sitting down to a lunch of sandwiches and chips and Jell-O. My Mom is OK with sandwiches and stuff that you can eat with your hands, although she is hesitant even then. It's the food you have to eat with a fork or spoon that is difficult for her. But today, since it's mostly finger food, I can spend some time taking pictures and movies.
The actual pictures of my Mom having her lunch are unremarkable, so I have put thumbnails for them below; you can click on the thumbnails to view the full-size pictures:
A movie of these proceedings is at right.
I took a couple of additional photographs of Mom with her cake, and you can see those pictures here and here.
These were the last pictures I took of Mom this year. It has been a busy year for her with two hospital visits early in the year, her move to Gracefield Drive and her ninety-sixth birthday. Let's hope that next year is a bit calmer.
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