Family day. ..North Carolina pulled pork BBQ, cold slaw and sweet tea. Residents, their families, staff and their families. Newborns to over a century. A magician.
Three years ago, I began the unthinkable... reluctantly searching for a facility. We were ten plus years into this thing and I was exhausted. Being the stubborn and independent thing I am, I was going to do the search alone and step into this brave new world that I didn't want to go to. After searching the internet for local memory care facilities, I had my list. Ten potential homes for Jerry from Sea Level, North Carolina to Raleigh, North Carolina. As the day came closer to actually going to see them, my son decided to fly out and do the interviewing with me. Since he lives on the west coast, he was not involved in the day to day caregiving and really didn't believe that Jerry was at the point to be in a facility. One of painful realities. Thus began the emotional search.
The entire search process is written about in this blog of 2010. Here we are now, mid-2013.
Not for one minute have I regretted placing Jerry. At the time, I didn't realize how worn down I had gotten. I so desperately wanted to be by Jerry's side to the very end but his needs had become too great. My exhaustion and frustration often led to impatience which was unfair to him. Now I realize that it takes a well trained staff to meet them. I had to let him go. Sniff! Over the past three years, he has settled in, is secure and at peace in his new environment, and I am much healthier. Otherwise, Alzheimer disease could possibly have taken us both.
Occasionally, I felt guilty..especially when I would hear of someone caring for their loved one at home. I honor those who can do it...but it takes so much support. Once I came to the reality that it was beyond my capacity to give him the care that he needed, I began searching for the best of the best. Not necessarily state of the art, the home where Jerry resides has the feel of a real warm and fuzzy home. The staff work well together...from the director, the activity director, the aides, to the cooks, to the maintenance man. In fact, at special events, the staff all bring their families. Moral is good, thus making it a positive and happy place. I can't speak highly enough about it. This is home and we are family.