August 7, 2012
So I know my brother and I only brought our father to live at the assisted living facility on Saturday, but the guilt just won't go away. Maybe it's because when I called to talk to him on Sunday, he said he had just been sitting around next to some guy who was sleeping (I'm beginning to think that none of the residents even talk to each other at this place). Or maybe it's because he thought he was coming home with me when I visited yesterday. Or maybe it's because when I spoke to him today, he told me that "this place just makes me nervous." Or maybe it's because he was STILL dressed in the SAME shirt when I visited yesterday, as when we dropped him off there on Saturday (WTF?!?). It is not okay to pay a facility over $6,000/month (yes, you read that right) and not have your clothes changed on a daily basis, and it wouldn't hurt to have a little deodorant slapped on too. Grrrr. Anyway, the "maybe it's because..." list could go on and on and on.
I took today off from visiting so I could get some packing done around my house, as we close on a new house in 10 days! But I visited yesterday, as well as the day before. He definitely wants out of the place. He mentioned how he wished that he was "at the other place," which I assumed to mean his own house. I'm pretty sure he doesn't grasp the fact that we will be selling his home in order to have money to pay this facility. That fact alone makes me feel like I could throw up. He also kept asking me if he brought his bikes there. I believe he was thinking that they could help him escape if he had them. One thing that made me feel a *tiny* bit better is that he was out of his room each time I came to visit. The program director told me that he had participated in the sing along (which I'm sure he was more than horrified to do-he is definitely a shy guy and still knows what is going on while he's doing it). Of course, when I asked him if he had been signing with everybody, he said no. It's hard to tell what he is doing when I'm not there because every time I ask him what he has been up to, his response is, "I don't know." I wish I could be a fly on the wall.
I wonder what he is doing right now. If he were at home, he would probably be veggin' out, watching TV. The unfortunate thing is that we were told not many residents have TV's, due to the fact that they like the residents to be out of their rooms and socializing, instead of isolating themselves. Makes sense. But when you are one of VERY few people who are not in a wheelchair or don't use a walker, of course you want to isolate yourself because you don't fit in. He's a very young guy in a place full of elderly folks. My poor Dad. Anyway, I think one of the first things on our to-do list is to get him a flat screen TV. Socializing will come with time, for right now, I'd just like to make sure he's comfortable. And at least when he's watching TV, he's not bored..like when he's sitting in a room full of people who don't speak. One other thing that made me feel again just a *tiny* bit better, was the fact that when I was about to leave, I was talking to another resident (I guess when you bring a super adorable child in..aka my son, they finally find their voices) who said to my father that she has a TV in her room that she never uses. She said he was more than welcome to use it anytime she was not in her room, and then she brought us into the room to showed it to us. That really meant a lot to me that she did that. Not that either of them will remember.
I plan on visiting tomorrow so I hope that his anxiety has lessened a bit, that he's made a few friends, and that he's wearing a different shirt...