Today's visit was a bit comical. (At least it's funny once you're accustomed to Alzheimer world.) We have a new director at Jerry's facility who is trying to spruce up the place. Have you ever tried to paint family room in a memory care unit? You have to be speedy on the job because you CANNOT disrupt their world. Heavens forbid!
Each day, the majority of the residents wander on down to their little family room and spend most of their waking hours there. Unless they are at a planned activity they are usually sitting like a covey of birds...all flocked together. It's their comfort. It's their security. Thus, their "family" room. The room is lined with chairs and sofas along the wall and a TV is turned on to something like Andy Griffith or an old classic movie. If the weather is nice, the back door is open and they can wander outside to their fenced in yard at their leisure where there are planted flowers and a little figure eight sidewalk. The family room is divided into two separate areas: 1, the living room and 2, the putzing around room. (Honestly, most are "putzing around" all the time.) The putzing around room is where tables are set up with children's games. The entrance to the family room is through double french doors that pass by the nurses station.
It's nice to see a new color paint going on. That "institutional" green was getting pretty musty looking and the mellow yellow is going to freshen things up a bit. To paint the area where all these precious people sit (all day,everyday) requires moving the furniture from area 1 to area 2. Then from area 2 to area 1. While area 1 is being painting, they sit in area 2. While area 2 is being painting, they sit in area 1. Are you confused? Well, they are. Seriously, I it is quite discombobulating for them. When I brought Jerry back from our walk, I could see dear Alice crying. Alice is the sweetest and most pleasant person in the unit. To see her cry is pitiful. So, I took her hand, hooked it up to Jerry's, and walked them both down the hall. (Jerry was a bit disturbed at this. Not only to see Alicen cry...but to know that I placed HER hand in HIS. After all, I AM HIS GIRL.)
Anyway, our travels down the hall, didn't do much for Alice. She was able to stop crying, however, teared up again unless I kept her distracted. Then, I saw the cutest thing. Jerry walked over to the french doors that were closed to the family room. He could see through to the inside where the painter was painting some "strange new color" and there was no furniture accept a sofa in the middle of the room. One by one the residents would walk up to the windows of the door and peer inside, as if to say......"someone's in there" "why can't I go in?" I belong in there..." "let me in...let me in."
That must be why Alice was crying. It threw her off...out of her routine....They were all a bit disrupted. All a bit confused. In a way, I suppose you could get all sad about it....thinking it's pitiful. But, dear readers, remember......this is Alzheimer world. Once they get back in their chairs...they will forget all about it. That should be tomorrow.