My dear friend, Nancy, came with me today for day two. It was good to be with her so that we could bounce ideas off of each other and write down pros and cons. She is more objective and able to see what’s good for the both of us and not only Jerry. Sarah had Jerry and was suppose to take him to the senior resource center in Morehead city. Jerry has balked at that in the past, but I thought he’d cooperate with her. Turns out, she said, that he was very anxious that she was going to leave him. UH OH! Nancy and I came armed with my computer, note pads, and drinks. (non alcoholic, of course) (Not until 5:00) As an aside, I’ve decided to go on a “fast” until this is resolved. Not a big legalistic fast, but a fast from toxins, medications, alcohol, etc. Mostly liquid. I am just trying to be as clear headed and focused as possible.
We made it to the first place by noon. I’ve visited this facility before, and I was pretty impressed. It was clean, friendly, and the memory care unit was small and intimate. Every bedroom was private and homey. There were lots of windows and a small courtyard. Montana would also be able to visit. The TV room felt like family room. A year ago, when I visited there, I didn’t feel Jerry was ready for it. I still don’t. Even though I was very pleased with the personnel, I felt the residents were not a good fit. There was only one little gentleman, who I think Jerry would have liked. But the rest of the residents were elderly women. Very elderly and very far advanced. This is still an option, though, for a future time.
Nancy concluded that it looked like things were leaning toward going back to Raleigh. TEMPORARILY. No permanent decision right now. We both felt Jerry was not ready for full time residency yet. HOWEVER, that could change in six months. Who knows? To go back to Raleigh would be quite a task. I’d need to rent my house here and rent one there. That means moving logistics. She was also concerned that since I would be so close to my grandkids, and there are 4 of them (almost 5), that I would be trading babysitting Jerry for babysitting grandkids. She stressed the importance of my being in an environment where I would be inspired to create. She offered two very important suggestions.
1. When we go for the holidays, Jerry needs to go to the daycare everyday to see how he responds. There’s no sense in completely changing my entire life, if Jerry won’t go. What if he digs in his heals, becomes obstinate and completely refuses to go without a fight. Honestly, this could happen.
2. I must have a conversation with my girls and set boundaries about grandchildren. She said, after this transition, I probably won’t be good for anybody for a while and will need to be able to adjust. Also, this would be a time to further my art venture, focus, and work. A time for me to bloom without Jerry. Besides, I will need to be able to bring in an income.
By the time, we came home, we both concluded that his entire journey is one big can of worms. Worms all twisted together. The more you learn, the more convoluted things get. AND...there is no perfect answer because each dementia patient has different needs, different personalities, different physical needs. Now...how do I approach Jerry with all of this to get the best results. That’s next.