After two months, Marv has settled into the home and our existence has up-graded from Woody Allen movie to Fellini. Such a bizarre assortment of characters we now have as family in the new living arrangement.
We have a husband and wife who both have dementia, Regina and Lester. Les was moved into Marv’s room as his roomy and Regina is at the other end of the house. I believe she is abusive to Les as he doesn’t hear well and is constantly losing his hearing aid. She yammers away at him and he just hangs his head like a whipped dog. Since he doesn’t understand what she is saying, (really, nobody does) she gets angry with him. She also does not like me for some reason and has made that very clear on several occasions. Les is very confused about being in the assisted living facility and constantly wonders out loud when his daughter or son is coming to take him back home.
Dee is the little tiny bird woman with classic Alzheimer symptoms of word aphasia and absolutely no body fat. She fell a few weeks ago, (or perhaps was knocked over by someone) and broke her hip. She just got back to the home and now is in a wheelchair which is hard for her as one of her things was to be constantly on the move. This is the little lady Marv called mom the first day we visited.
Shelly is a younger gal who suffered a stroke and lost most of her vision and the use of her left side. Now she has seizures and is not able to take care of herself on her own. She has a boyfriend who picks her up for the weekend and brings her back on monday when he goes back to work. The last time I talked with her she said she was moving soon into a home closer to his house which had people more her own age.
Ruth is in the last stages of dementia and for the most part sleeps all the time. I had never seen her awake until a few visits ago when she suddenly made eye contact with me and said some words to me. I went over to her and held her hand for a bit trying to understand what she was saying and just making a little contact. Her husband told me she was an ordained minister in their church and she likes for him to read her some scriptures. Perhaps I’ll figure out some that I could read to her sometime when she is awake again or maybe a little hymn singing.
Irene is the newest member and is a delightful woman, still has all her mental faculties but is not very mobile. Her husband was unable to care for her as she requires help to get in her wheelchair and up to the table to eat. She is mostly incontinent and requires help in that area as well. Her husband brings her the paper everyday which she reads and is able to carry on a conversation about current events. I like to chat with her and the caregivers at the table as they are eating. She is patient and waits quietly for the gals to help her even though they forget rather frequently that she has asked for help to get back to her room or over to the tv. The other folks are much more demanding of their time and Irene gets lost in the shuffle at times.
All the caregivers at the home seem to enjoy Marv and he is always hanging out with them when I visit no matter what time of day I arrive. One day they had the table pushed back and were dancing, one day bouncing the big ball back and forth, and on one occasion I found both Marv and Sandy, the caregiver sitting in the wheelchairs having a little wheelchair race. So for Marv, I believe he is where he needs to be at this point and is mostly happy and content. I take him out for a little lunch or over to visit with my sister and her husband which he enjoys but starts to get a little overstimulated after about an hour and then I know it’s time to take him back. He likes his meals there and eats everything on his plate, right down to trying to scrap up the pattern on the dinnerware and eat that as well. We still have a challenge getting him in the car and when that happens I just change my mind about going and we will try again next time. It makes for a less stressful existence.
I have settled into living alone with a dog and a cat and keep busy with the yard and everyday maintenance while fitting in a trip to Idaho Falls about twice a week. I think that will change to once a week soon as the drive gets to be a bit tiring. I still like to be with Marv though, so I guess I just play that by ear.
See ya next time.