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Today in My History

2000: Doggone
2001:  Afternoon of a Squirrel
2002:  Life: a Review
2003:  Stasis and Chaos
2004:  Yahrzeit
Police State
2006:  Ain't What IT Used to be Either
2007: Betrayed
2008:  Day of Silence
2009:  What do YOU do?
2010:  A Quick Trip
2011:  Hopping Down the Bunny Trail
2012: Will Connolly

Bitter Hack
: 4/23

Books Read in 2013
 Updated: 4/18
"Cannery Row"

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Brianna's 5th Birthday
Lacie's Christening

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mail to Walt


25 April 2013

It was so much fun driving 70 miles to San Rafael and driving 70 miles back to Davis...that I did it a second time.  300 miles in one day.  I drove almost as far as a trip to Santa Barbara!

Why did I do it?  Well...it's a complete game changer and it started yesterday.  I've been literally having nightmares about this whole Springfield thing.  She wants a one bedroom, but there won't be enough money if she lives too long, the studio will work, but I don't think she'll be as happy there (and there aren't any studios available right now anyway).  We'll move her into the one bedroom and put her on the wait list for the studio...will there still be enough money?   I go to bed worrying about it, I wake up worrying about it, I dream about it some nights.

She has said all along that she does NOT want to leave Marin County (though Springfield is technically in Sonoma county, but they are neighbor counties).   But with all my concerns about the money, I thought I would just check out the local facility here.  Just for comparison. I called their office and, surprisingly, the sales rep gave me a quoted price over the phone for a 1 bedroom, which was $1,000 less than Springfield and even slightly less than the studio.  I asked if we could come right then and have a tour.  She said sure, so Walt and I got in the car and drove there immediately.

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The first thing I noticed as we drove in the parking lot were all the roses out in front.  My mother loves roses.

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We walked into the spacious front lobby, where a group of people was sitting around a grand piano singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," led by, of all people, David's kindergarten teacher.  We talked with her and she said her mother had lived here for 12 years and loved it.  Judy now continues to lead a singing group every Wednesday.

CGJudy.jpg (47398 bytes)

We met with Alison, the Sales Rep (I learned that term from Scott!) and she gave us a tour.  I hate to say it, but I fell in love with the place.   It's bigger than Springfield (and includes an Alzheimers wing), so there is a labyrinth of halls, but everywhere you look there are little alcoves with people either sitting and chatting, or reading.  They all look so cozy!

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We met the resident who runs the library.  She appears to be my mother's age or older and she is fiercely proud of her library!

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From the upstairs windows, you get a view down into the garden.

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(the pink is a reflection of my shirt!)

I saw a pingpong table, a movie room, an arts & crafts room, a hair dressing salon, a small store run by residents where you can get some small things to avoid having to go to the supermarket, and yes, even a billiards room (though she would never play billiards, but I have been teasing Scott about the lack of a billiards room at Springfield, though it is mentioned in the facility's web site).

Then we went to the apartment that is available (there are actually two 1-bedrooms available now) and the minute I walked in the door, I knew my mother would love it.

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That door you can walk right out of and into the garden was just perfect for her.  There are actually 3 rooms, this living room, a bedroom, and a little dining area (plus kitchenette and bathroom, of course).  It's slightly larger than Springfield, but basically they are comparable in size.  But the garden and the price were what got me.  Not only is the price significantly cheaper, but there is no add on for the alternative living component until you actually need alternative living assistance.  At Springfield $250 is mandatory for everyone and as as your need increases, the cost increases.

Walt and I went left the facility so excited.  It's 0.8 miles from our HOUSE.  I could walk there.  I could have lunch with her every day, if she wanted, and not have to drive 70 miles to do it.  If she gets to a point where someone needs to give her her pills once a day, I could do it myself!!!  

But could I convince her to come and at least look at Covell Gardens?

I called her and asked if she could consider moving to Davis.   "Absolutely not!" she said.  I asked why.  She said she had lived in Marin County for half of her life, she loved Marin County and all her friends were there.  I pointed out that Springfield is NOT in Marin County, and that almost all of her friends were either dead or had Alzheimers.  I described Covell Gardens in rosy terms and she reluctantly agreed to come and look.  But it was through clenched teeth.

This morning I drove down to get her.  She had forgotten I was coming, of course, but to my AMAZEMENT, since my telephone call she had convinced herself that moving to Davis might not be such a bad thing, that she really didn't have any friends living in Marin county any more and that really the only thing keeping her there was her stepson, Ed (who says he will visit frequently anyway).

That resolve continued as we made the drive to Davis and she got a real dose of exactly how far I drive every time I go down to have lunch with her.

Fortunately, she loved the place as much as I did.  Alison set us up in the dining room for lunch before we took a tour of the facility and then we went off to look around.  My mother, too, was won over by the sight of that garden just outside her living room.  We were so taken with the place I asked Alison if we could get the paperwork started right away to make sure nobody else got it while we were waiting.

She had her nurse evaluation (which she passed) and she gave them a deposit.  Tomorrow I am going to go and, as her representative, go through all the rules and regulations and sign that agreement for her...she won't follow it anyway, so no point in having her there, since they say it takes about an hour or so.  Walt will come with me to make sure that I ask all the right questions.

Her apartment is perfectly located.  She can't possibly get lost because it's a short walk down to the main lobby and dining room.  They give the residents several free coupons a month so that friends can come and eat with them, if they want and if they use up their coupons, the cost of the meal is only $4, which is definitely on a par with the local McDonald's (and much better).  The dining room surroundings are kind of plush--or maybe it's just the dim lighting that makes it seem that way.  I really think she will be happy here.  I think she would be happy at Springfield, too, but this eliminates my long drive just to have lunch, I can take her to theater with me here in Davis, and I will stop having nightmares about having to find a way to help her end her life when the money runs out (just kidding!)

I can't believe that after all this we went in a completely different direction and that my mother is moving to Davis.

Now I have to figure out how to break the news to Scott.  I feel like I've been having an affair the past two days, and cheating on Springfield with Covell Gardens!!


CGPatio.jpg (92533 bytes)

This is what will be right outside my mother's living room.
It's an enclosed courtyard, with apartments like hers on the other side.

I'd love it if you'd leave a comment!

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