Sunday, September 16, 2012

Healing Time

My Dad has been living at Crestwood East Assisted Living in Indianapolis for three months now.  While grieving Mom's untimely death, he has been doing extremely well considering.  I had always heard that those frist few months are so crucial to a loved one that has become widowed.

Prior to Mom's death, Dad was not doing well.  His health was declining rapidly and he was feeling a burden to Mom.  She had been his primary caretaker for so many years.  They were in "The Accident" 49 years ago, that robbed my Dad of a normal un-handicapped life. From the minute my Dad woke from his coma, my Mom vowed to take care of him.  And that she did.  Sometimes we'd scold her, as she babied him.  But, then again, he had always been a bit spoiled.  Dad was very demanding.  He had a mean streak in him.  But, he also was a very dear man, that loved her very much.

One year ago, Mom and Dad decided it was time for Dad to live in assisted living.  They were very stubborn and head strong refusing to hear of my Sister & I advice.  My Mom always turned left when I said right. Up when I said down.  It was what it was. For years, we begged her to slow down and lessen her load.  I almost had them convinced to move Pops to Indy, finding a grand place... but at the eleventh hour, Mom pulled the rug and said no.  So, Dad moved into an Assisted Living in their town.  Not one we approved, but nonetheless, a safer environment. Dad enjoyed his stay for five months.  The scariest part was the lack of any type of nursing care, whereas, if Dad fell, (which he does a lot) they can't tend to his needs.  There was also a cost issue... but we needn't go into that.

My parents moved to a "side-by-side senior apartments in April of this year.  Mom was exhausted.  Her health was a mess. She intended on being able to care for Dad here. She wasn't able to do this.  She died three weeks following their move.  Dad was now alone, without any help.
Pops 5/11/2012
This picture was taken of my Dad this past May. He looked scary old and weak. It had become very difficult to understand him.  He was not eating properly, nor was he taking his medications regularly He was on oxygen much of the time.
Pops 9/11/2012
This is my Dad now.  He looks great! He is taking wonderful care of himself now that he has a routine.  His medications have been regulated and he only uses the oxygen when he sleeps.  He LOVES the wonderful home cooked meals and as he has been "forced" to socialize, his speech has greatly improved. He is quite popular and has made friends with everyone there. He has a shower that he can easily get into (something we take for granted) and he enjoys taking pride in his appearances once again. He has changed his beard shape a dozen times, finally choosing this  GQ clean cut look.

He teases me as I am on it... no messing around. I have been a tough cookie when it comes to telling Dad what to do.  BUT... it's paying off. He is HAPPY. He is finally getting the fact that he CAN be happy. I refuse to permit him to sit in his chair and wait to die. I have showed him a taste of life he has forgotten.  We have big plans.  We are going places and doing things. And we are having a wonderful time.

I can't make everyone that promised to visit him come. That is a disappointment. But, we are done waiting, we are getting out, and don't be surprised if we come knocking on your doors to visit. He needs his friendships more now than ever.


leslie k hogue said...

Seems your Dad's eyes have been opened to a new sense of order. Getting use to his enviroment and those around him. I've no doubt, your spirit is rubbing off on him. Funny, you probably got it from him.
I pray for your strenght and his.
Live strong, live long ! :)

rosaria williams said...

You are a great daughter! He needs someone to guide his life right now, and a headstrong one too!
You are giving me a new lease on life, and that's a wonderful gift.
Bless you.

Lori ann said...

you are a wonderful person janis, bless your heart. take good care!

Linda said...

I'm so glad your Dad is doing so much better. Bless you.

My Mom has had Alzheimer's dementia for the past 4 years or so, untreated until finally this past month, and I know we have a long road ahead of us, as she is only 82. Dad will be 87 this November and I'm glad we made the decision so many years back now to move them directly next door to us. They're still very self sufficient in their home and I plan to keep it like that.

Love, Linda

mary i said...

Your Dad looks so much better!You are Awesome and have a Strong Soul janis. Glad you are both finding some Happy. Ya'll are welcome on this Alabama doorstep anytime :)

gowestferalwoman said...


what a beautiful word. Im so glad your dad has chosen to Liiivvveee.

:)he has a smart daughter...

Pammy Sue said...

Beautiful post, Janis! XOXO

Heather said...

I gave you a One Lovely Blog Award. Go to my page to see it.

Zion Girl said...

Love you sweet friend!