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2000:Videotapes and Web Cams
2001: Who Invited All These Tacky People
2002: Impatience is a Virtue
2004: Growing Old is NOT for Sissies
2005: Fairy Revels
2006: Show Off
2007: Movie Meme
2008: Life Such as It Is
2009: Taking Too Much for Granted
2010: The Proust Questionnaire
2011: I Understand My Mother
2012: Oh My Aching Muscles
"Midsummer Night's Dream"
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21 March 2013
The first visit to an Independent Living facility has been made, and thank goodness it was a good experience. A very good expereience.
When I started investigating places on line to tour, it was a pretty daunting experience. There are so many and they all tell you the same thing. They are all wonderful, it's the perfect place for Mom and Dad, and they give you only sketchy details and few even give you a price range. Where to start? I was hoping for word-of-mouth recommendations.
My cousin's daughter, Denise, had already taken my mother to one place, which my mother had thought nice, but didn't remember the name of. And when I asked her, Niecie gave me that name and also another name, Springfield Place, where a friend of hers had a beauty salon.
I checked out their web page and it had a form for requesting information. Thinking I would get a brochure in the mail, I filled it out. Scott Shreckengast, their Sales Advisor, called me within the hour. I found him a delightful man and we talked a long time. Yes, I know he's a salesman and he's paid to be delightful. He earns every penny. I kept that very much in mind both in our conversations and in the tour yesterday. But the place has a lot to offer, and I like their philosophy and the way they deal with their residents. We made an appointment for Wednesday.
It rained the night before and was grey and drizzly when I woke up. The last thing I wanted to do was to drive to San Rafael again, but I did. It was one of my mother's very bad memory days. "What are we doing today? -- going to lunch?" "Where are we going?" she asked several times, and then "what are they going to do to me?" and "where do you want to go to lunch afterwards?" though I told her over and over again that lunch would be included in the tour.
And so we drove to Petaluma, which was about 20 miles from where she is living now (and is where Walt's brother and sister-in-law live).
The place is on a busy intersection but set back from the street. The entryway is quite large and off to the left was the dining area. I had been accustomed to separate dining rooms in the two places where Walt's mother lived. This is in the middle of everything, large and spacious.
(The piano shown in this picture is now in a different area and the whole area where the photographer is standing is the dining room.)
Scott joined us and took us to the dining room where we were to order lunch. He had bought a nice orchid plant for her (having asked me about her favorite plants ahead of time). He had also dressed in a blue shirt, since he had asked me what her favorite color was. This is a guy who works all the angles. But he is so darn charming, you just don't care.
A woman passed by and he grabbed her to introduce her to my mother. She is the facility's "raised flower bed gardener." She loves raising roses and says she wants to raise orchids, but they keep dying on her. My mother gave her some tips and Scott said if she moved here she could help the woman with the garden. I could see her eyes light up at that suggestion.
While we ate, Scott went over all he could think of that would appeal to her. He did talk a lot about her possibilities for travel with Springfield, which would not appeal to her at all, since her back problems make it difficult for her to travel and she has reached a point where the confusion of being around a lot of people makes group situations difficult for her...though I can see that perhaps being in this setting might make her more sociable again. He also talked a lot about "easing the burden" on me since they could take her to her doctor's appointments. That would never happen since she needs someone IN THE ROOM to hear what the doctor has to say, but it's nice to know that in a pinch, that is a possibility. (And it's no burden for me at all, of course.)
What I liked about the place is that all of their buildings are licensed for assisted living care, which means that if she goes into Independent Living and then finds that she needs additional assistance, she won't have to move to a new apartment.
We toured three apartments, two studios and one one-bedroom. While my mother didn't think she needed more than a studio, I could easily see that the one bedroom would work much better, especially since she could still have Jeri visit her when she comes to town. (When we got back to her house and I looked at "all the crap" that will have to be reduced to fit into just a one bedroom, I think a studio is completely out of the question!)
One very nice thing is that for a $500 refundable downpayment she can hold a place at Springfield until she is ready to move. He talked about one woman who put her downpayment down and didn't move in for four years.
(The web site mentions a "computer room" which I didn't see and he says that when they finish remodeling, there will be wifi available, but not right now--still, that was a plus for me...I could finally use my computer while visiting my mother overnight.)
Scott said he would come and do a home visit and continue the discussion and I think she may give him $500 at that time. But we do want to check another couple of places before making the final decision. Still, we are on the hunt and I am hopeful that I can get her settled before we leave for the Ukraine in August.
I developed some sort of an intestinal "condition" on the drive home. Perhaps a delayed reaction to all the rich food I had over the weekend. By the time I got home, I was in trouble. Walt made his own dinner and I settled into the recliner and finally decided to "take a nap" at 8 p.m. I woke up at 9:30, was up for about half an hour and then went back to the couch, where I slept until nearly 7 a.m. I'm still not 100% and have asked for someone to fill in for me at the book store today,.
I have to return to my mother's this evening as she has an
appointment to have a Holter Monitor put on tomorrow morning, so I'm spending the night
and will return on Saturday morning.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
The woman on the left is Springfield's beautician;
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