Sunday, September 09, 2007

The next great adventure

Dad and Lois, sunning on the deck.

I'm spending the week with my dad in Absarokee. It has become apparent to everyone around him that he cannot stay alone any longer. We all talked it over and it was decided that he will move into the nursing home in Columbus, Montana.

Mike, my brother, works in Columbus and dad will only be 14 miles from home. We will bring him back as often as possible and also visit him at every opportunity. He has friends living in the same facility, so we are hopeful that the move will be a positive one for him.

Mike and I spent several afternoons in Billings buying items dad will need for his stay. We also visited Lois (pictured above with dad) his next door neighbor who has been in the hospital for a couple of weeks. She has been very ill, but she is on the mend now.

I will spend this week helping dad pack and prepare to move in. Most of his new things will be delivered on Wednesday and I will organize and decorate his space then. He will move in on Thursday.

We are doing our best to make it a wonderful adventure for dad, so if you have any suggestions, please pass them along. We want this to be fun for him, he is a wonderful man and he deserves the best.


thailandchani said...

As always, I totally enjoy getting a glimpse of how your family functions. Such a wonderful example!



Anonymous said...

Try and give him something to share- a special blend of tea or coffee, or a box of cookies. It will make it easier to meet people if he can invite them to his room for a little something.

Mary said...

It's wonderful that he will have some familiar faces!

Thomaslb has a good idea about sharing. Family photos, a nice, bright floral arrangement will perk up his room. My Dad is in a good nursing home but I have learned not to let him have anything expensive such as blankets, etc. Things disappear...

No matter what, it's damned hard to move your parents.

My heart is with you, Laurie.

Anvilcloud said...

I hope this works well for you guys. It seems to be difficult for some but not so much for others.

moos said...

I hope that the transiton goes well. I am glad to hear that your Dad has friends living there. That should help.

Another thing to share - photo albums. People love to look at photos - don't we know that from blogging!

TigerYogi said...

Good luck with the move! :)

MsLittlePea said...

Hope the move is a happy one.
Does he read? Don't forget favorite books and remember to transfer any magazine or newspaper subscriptions he might have. My Grandpa was always happy as long as his newspaper was on time and untouched :O) when he moved into his new place.

Also a cork board with pictures of loved ones or something like that:O)

Ginnie said...

Congratulations on making this a positive move. It is one of the most difficult decisions that any family has to make. My mother had one of those flat. long cartons that you get at Walmart for storage and it fit perfectly under her bed. She kept her picture albums and important letters, etc. in there and would visit it often.

Laurie said...

Chani, thank you!

Thomas, that's a great idea, we will do that.

Mary, it's hard, but we are going to make it fun for dad. That's the important thing.

AC, dad is such an easy going guy, I think it will be alright. Thank you.

Karen, great idea. I packed the photo album I made him for Christmas and also a special frame with pictures of mom. I'll find more photos to take as well. Thank you!

Tiger, thank you so much.

Mspea, he has macular degeneration, but we buy him "big" books. We got him a very nice bookcase for his room and we will keep it filled. Good idea about the newspaper. I think I'll get him a subscription.

Ginnie, I will pick one of those up next time I'm in town. I think he will really enjoy having his precious items stored that way. Thanks.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I love it, Laurie, when you post about your travels. You take me places I would otherwise not even know exited. Thanks!

seventh sister said...

Thanks, Laurie. and I'd love to be in your blog roll.

Laurie said...

Nick, glad to take you along.

Sister, you have been added.

Anonymous said...

My mother has that dreaded macular degeneration! We got her books on tape. Contact your local blind society. They are a wealth of information and help! There are all kinds of things that will make his life a little easier.
We also put a notebook and pen on Moms dresser for people to sign in. That way it gives you a little idea of his company. It helps them to remember who was there when. Most of all get him involved. Take him to coffee time and to church services and to bingo time or whatever else they have. Label all of his clothes and document all of his belongings. Leave some money on their account. No cash in his room. Most importantly visit him at various times. And don't be afraid to bitch! Get to know a couple of the people who have worked there for awhile. And if you can, take his favorite chair or lamp or chest of drawers or something of his from his home. Don't think of it as his ending place, just a new place and a new adventure. Best of luck and God Bless!

Ur-spo said...

there is no 'right way' to this. sometimes it is best to call a spade a spade - and try to give the fellow as much say and control as he is able.
good luck.

Anonymous said...

I am a first time visitor to your blog.
Give your dad, all that he likes. Probably set the house in the theme that will appeal to him.
Best wishes!

Menchie said...

Laurie, I hope the move goes well. The others have provided such good ideas to make the move comfortable for your dad (pictures, flowers, etc). Maybe his favorite music will also help?

All the best.

Dave said...

Put things in his room that he really likes. If there is a favorite smell try to get it into the room the scent will make him feel at home. Telephone calls letters and cards help. A real conversation now and then where he does the talking and feels in control will make him feel like he is in charge. A hug a smile and suprises to keep the spark in his soul.

KC said...

That's great he has friends there and that it is so close by. He has such a great family.

Laurie said...

Cindy, thank you. That is great advice. I'll probably blog about all of this sometime soon.

Ur-spo, that is exactly what we are trying to do. I'm glad we are on the right track. Thanks!

Kulpreet, great idea. I will try to do that.

Menchie, he doesn't really listen to music, but we did get him an xm radio setup so he can listen to his beloved Atlanta Braves baseball games. He will also have a new flat panel tv to watch as well. Thanks!

Dave, great ideas! He loves to get mail, so I will start sending him fun cards and long letters! Thank you so much!

KC, he's a great guy, we just take after him and our mom. We were very lucky growing up.

KGMom said...

This is one of life's necessary and difficult transitions. It is good he has friends where he is going.

Pam said...

I hope the transition goes well. I suspect that having such a wonderful and caring family will ease the adjustment to change. From my own experience I can tell you that my daughter's love and support has made the changes in my life much easier to bear. My blessings to you and yours.

Pink said...

I'm with spo...ask dad what HE wants and talk to him about how he really feels about this transition.

keep asking him how its working for him.

if you can spend weekends with him in his home or something like that from time to time, that might be good. I'm not sure. I'm not sure if he will be better off just making the move and considering this his new home.

Again, ask Dad.

I have not had to make this move in my family but I feel for you.

Laurie said...

KG, he has many friends there and a good friend of mine works there as well. I know they will all make him feel welcome.

Pam, thank you so much. We will do everything in our power to make sure he is happy!

Pink, we plan to bring him home to stay as often as possible. We will also take him for rides and to lunch every weekend. I'm sure my brother will visit 4 or 5 times a week and I'll be there often as well. Holidays and birthdays will be spent at home, in Absarokee and I promise we will keep asking him what he wants and how he is doing.

He has told me several times that he gets bored staying at home and he really seems to be looking forward to having a second home. I honestly believe he will be happy there. If not, we will make other arrangements, no matter what it takes.

nyvolfan said...

Do you think he would be interested in a friend(penpal) from upstate NY??? Just an idea. I stopped by from Northview Diary. Best of luck to all of you.

Gina said...

I hope the transition goes smoothly for everyone.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I hope things work out for your Dad. I cannot imagine living in a nursing home. I used to think my son would take me in if it ever came to that but i don't think so any more. I reserve the right for myself to take my own life when in is unsatisfactory for me!

the said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Baron said...

I hope your Dad adjusts quickly to this new arrangement. If the people he knows are happy living there, odds are good he will too.

I'll keep my fingers crossed.

(Yep, that was me that deleted the previous comment. I was signed in to the wrong gmail account.) :)

Q said...

Dear Laurie,
My thoughts are with you. I remember when my Mother could no longer live alone.
I read on Mary's View you are off to the mountains. Enjoy and enjoy and enjoy!! Looking forward to seeing photos.

Within Without said...

Just make sure he's got easy access to Braves' games on the tube.

He's already got you and Mike, which for him is a Godsend. You are remarkable people.

I know today (Thursday) must have been very difficult and full of emotion.

I hope it went well. And hugs to you.

Squirl said...

I don't have any suggestions. I just want to send you some virtual hugs.

LauraHinNJ said...

Hope everything goes smoothly for you all.