Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Updates From the Caregiving Front

Daughters Serena and Maria flew in from their separate locations (near Houston & Washington, DC) for a super quick vsist this past weekend. I picked them up from Denver airport Friday late morning and returned them there about the same time on Sunday morning. A whirlwind visit but wonderful.

They made the effort so they could visit my mom who's now in what I was calling a "full service" care facility. Then I checked the name on the paperwork and found the name is actually Columbine West Health and Rehab. And, they're not kidding. There are physical therapists there working with the residents as well as occupational therapists and the nurses are also trained in what they call "restorative care." All of these efforts are designed to help the residents regain as much of their physical strength as possible and do as much as they can for themselves so that their quality of life is improved.

And, I have to report that my mom's condition has definitely improved. They've been doing some gentle leg exercises with her and she's able to move herself up to a sitting position from bed and can now stand (with them beside her) to take care of personal functions. That is a marked improvement in only two weeks. It would be wonderful to see her be able to return to using her walker instead of the wheelchair, but we'll have to see if that's possible. And if it isn't, that's okay. The fact that she's adjusting very well indeed for a 91-yr lady is huge progress itself. And---there's even an unexpected benefit. The hairdresser at this facility does a much more flattering shampoo and set on my mom's lovely silver hair. :) Women never get too old to care about their looks.

Serena and Maria really enjoyed visiting with their grandmother, and they even made two videos of her talking about things in her childhood. Apparently those memories stay in our minds even when we've forgotten most of everything else. And the girls also bought, assembled, and installed a lovely bird feeder outside my mom's large window. It's a crook (Bishop's crook) of black metal with two "crooks" which they used to hang two separate feeders--one with a "squirrel-proof" feeder for birdseed and the other for a nectar-filled hummingbird feeder. She and I saw a sweet little brown wren show up this afternoon and eat and eat and eat. He's was a little skinny, so this new feeder was a bonanza for him.

Oh, and I learned that I'd made an observational mistake regarding the Kennedy Space Center exhibit building which was located at the Banana Creek viewing area where our family watched the Atlantis shuttle launch. Serena told me the rocket which is on display there is the Saturn V rocket, which Serena told me is MUCH bigger than the Atlas V rocket. The Atlas V is going to be the rocket used to launch the mini shuttle Dream Catcher in the near future.

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