I went out to see my mom at the assisted living yesterday. The last two times I have gone, I’ve taken her out to see Aunt Trudy – who is currently in rehab and in a facility with a name similar to the place where mom is staying, but such radical difference in the two places.
Granted, the facility my aunt is in is not the last place that she will ever call home. It is a rehab center. But it reminds me of some of the assisted living facilities that Corey and I had looked into but could not afford. I don't know how this rehab bill is going to affect Aunt Trudy – for I know that it will be more pricy than the bills Corey gets for mom.
The center where mom is currently seems understaffed. And each of the staff members assists with the seating and the feeding and the meds and forms of entertainment. They start setting up and bringing residents to the table starting at 11:00. They don’t eat until 12:00. There is one cook.
At the center where my aunt is (or even
– the place we would have put mom if money was no option) has staff teams. I don’t know how many people were in the
kitchen. But there were three people at
the table where my aunt had been seated (really fine dining atmosphere by the
way – like some posh club or something) and there were three people that served
them. So each resident gets his/her own
I was asked if I wanted soup. I was hungry but had brought my own lunch so as not to saddle my aunt’s bill with an extra expense. I was told there was no charge for the soup. It was really good soup! I think they could have charged $5.00 a bowl, it was that delicious.
The residents (temp residents or patients, clients? What would you call them) have a choice of menu items. I don’t know how many people are in the kitchen. I imagine the kitchen is bigger than the entire house where I currently reside (and that is NOT an exaggeration)
The food at mom’s facility? It is okay. Not that I’ve had a lot of it. Usually there is no place to sit. They don’t get to choose from menu items. Eat what is served to them or don’t eat at all.
Aunt Trudy’s bed looks like it is just a single – but her room is huge! Her bathroom is huge (but it has to facilitate a wheelchair and at least one nurse) I don’t know how often each staff member stops by. But it’s routine clock work – I don’t guess there’s a single hour when somebody isn’t looking in on her.
Mom’s place – well . . . they have a schedule. It gets altered a lot. Things don’t always happen on time. Sometimes personal items get misplaced (bras in the laundry – all with worn out tags) and sometimes overlooked.
I’m not blaming anyone. You get what you pay for. But there’s a lot of love and concern that goes into my mom’s place because they’re so small. They know not just their residence, but all the family members who come to visit. I see some smiles and genuine positive emotion with some of those who have worked with my aunt (or at least there in the facility) but I have seen just as many who are “just doing their job” who are there to get a paycheck and be polite – but their priorities don’t always seem to be set on those they serve.
I could be wrong. I’ve only been there twice. Each time I’ve been overwhelmed by the “luxury”. At mom’s I am underwhelmed for the most part. Though I do appreciate the devotion of the staff.
I had a friend who had done rehab in an assisted living facility or nursing home, rather. It seemed overcrowded and understaffed and reminded me of a veteran’s ward, actually. I knew of two real people that had been sent there to live for the remainder of their lives – one of whom is younger than I. She had Huntington’s disease. And her mom was not in a position to take care of her full time. Same facility.
But my friend was in good spirits. It’s certainly not the place she would have chosen for herself, but it was an option through the insurance company – and unlike many that were there, she would be returning to live with her family and would not be there until she died.
Sometimes we find that we just have to settle due to our own lack of control. Because we haven’t been blessed with financial wealth. Because the economy robbed us of our house and were forced to move to a less expensive area. Because the government is dipping into your paycheck because they say you owe money even though you were on welfare the last two and a half years. Because the income you depend on has the name of your deceased spouse on it, it is automatically given to medical and you have no say in it whatsoever.
I love the school Jenna goes to currently. I have to drive her two miles south each morning and then drive back to pick her up. She rode the bus in her last four months of kindergarten. We had moved to a different school boundary – one that caters to those who come from homes with a language barrier or those that are learning challenged or slow. Jenna wasn’t happy there. Neither one of us were.
It is such a different situation – entirely – when comparing the two schools. Teachers at the former school kept everything under lock and key – even while in the classroom. At her current school, teachers seem to trust students. They close the doors and turn off the lights and that’s usually good enough for a student not to go in – or if he does, it’s to go through his own desk – never the teachers.
Jenna’s in a portable classroom this year. I have had to use a pass to return to the main building. The students at her current school are so polite. They open doors for adults and stand there until the adult has passed through. I don’t think that would even cross the minds of those in the other school that she went to.
At the former school, instruction seminars were held for the parents once a month – they would have the opportunity for learning proper hygiene, basic nutrition, things I had learned in junior high. All of the seminars were done in Spanish and the school would supply English translators for those of us who didn’t speak Spanish (I’d gone to a seminar to meet other parents; I felt like a fish out of water) but the opportunity to mingle felt so limited. I only went to twice.
At Jenna’s current school, there are very few that don’t speak English. And there are several bilingual parents, teachers and students that no one should feel out of place. There probably are a few parents who could use the basics, but no seminars are offered or morning mingles (which I learned was just a name – I did try to associate – but it just didn’t take. But it helped me understand why Jenna was having such a hard time as she couldn’t seem to communicate either)
I loved the friendly faculty of the former school and didn’t feel threatened by anybody – but there was definitely a different atmosphere from the school Jenna attends today.
Location. The former is a boundary thing. The one today. Ironically she’s learning Spanish in the dual immersion. But she has friends there. She tried but made only one friend at the former – and then that friend moved.
It seems like I heard these words in Sunday morning’s session of conference: “It doesn’t matter where you live; whether it’s a nice neighborhood . . ." somehow I let those words set off my emotions. There was a fuel burning inside of me that made me explode. We didn’t choose our neighborhood. We’re here because we had to settle. But perhaps I took the message out of context. Perhaps it was my own interpretation made set me off.
We are still struggling just to make ends meet. The house across the street must be a section 8 and someone else is helping to fill out the required paperwork in order to get state support (I know they have to have assistance – the woman who resides there isn’t smart enough to do it herself) The police have been called I don’t know how many times because of her undisciplined children. We certainly had absolutely no say as to whether we wanted them for neighbors or not.
Currently the police department in
investigated by the FBI. Should I be
concerned? I know that values start in
the home – I know we can help instill learning in Jenna. She is happy with her family. But she shouldn’t be afraid to leave the
house because of the idiots across the street.
Location does make a difference.
Sure, attitude does also. But it’s
hard having to be the strong one all the time.
It’s hard being one of 25 who volunteer and show up to see the same ones
doing it again and again. I’m worn
I don’t want to have to settle because my husband’s ex wife is a habitual liar and the government won’t cut us a break. I’m tired of living from paycheck to paycheck. I’m tired of having needs that aren’t being fulfilled – forget about the desires.
The facility where mom lives seems to struggle just as my family does. But they are family. They are bound. The facility where Aunt Trudy currently resides may have some caring family members – but I think the closeness that brings people together is lost somehow. Who really has the greener grass?
We have been blessed with transportation. And yes, we do have shelter for the time being. Jenna and I have both been blessed with her current education. And we’ve been so blessed by Church welfare and friends and family. I guess there are pros and cons to every situation.