Today I helped move my grandmother to assisted living. She’s been living at home for years, going to a day program 6 days per week. The van would pick her up and bring her home. She has a fantastic home health aide Myrlene who would come in the morning to help get her ready and return in the evenings to take care of dinner and to make sure my grandmother got to bed. For five years, we weren’t worried about the overnights alone, since my grandmother has never wandered or mixed up her days and nights. She has some dementia, but for the most part it’s short-term memory loss.
But her hips have awful arthritis and she’s been having more and more trouble getting herself up and down and walking around. We finally got to the point where we’ve become worried about her trying to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night. At the same time, we’ve become less enamored with her day program. And it’s just too difficult for her to navigate the stairs getting in and out of her apartment building every day. So we all – the whole family, including my grandmother – decided it was time for assisted living.
And what a place we found! She is in the memory program assisted living at Newbridge on the Charles. All I can say is WOW. The staff is incredible, so thoughtful and kind, and watching their residents so closely. I am beyond impressed. And the building! Well, it’s beautiful. And the food! Fresh and delicious.
Here is a hot tip – they had us arrive for move-in at 11:30, so the very first thing that happened was we were escorted to the dining room for lunch. Well, my grandmother could not have been happier! To sit in a lovely dining room, being waited on, eating scrumptious food – she kept looking at us, saying “I get to live here?!” And from there they swept her up into the day’s activities and Myrlene and I went to set up her room.
Her first day could not have been better! She didn’t ask for Myrlene and me at all that whole afternoon. We were worried about her going to bed alone and being confused by the new room, and maybe waking up in the morning and not knowing where she was, so Myrlene slept over with her. The report is that they kept her busy with activities until 8 pm and then she slept all night!
I am headed back over on Friday morning to visit with my two-and-a-half year old. I’ll be chronicling how my grandmother is doing and how the rest of us are adjusting to the change. So far, things are looking great!