We looked at the assisted living facility together yesterday, Mom and I. I had a little chat with her before we arrived in which I laid out the facts in simple direct terms.
1. you have to move
2. the choices are limited by your insurance and what you can afford.
3. I have narrowed it down to what I think is the best place for you.
4. Please go with an open mind and a positive attitude.
I believe we'll have to revisit this list often in the coming weeks....
Rosewood Villa is actually quite lovely. She will have a private room with her own bathroom. Plenty of room for some of her furniture; bed, dresser, table and chairs, recliners and of course her TV. The apartment comes with a mini fridge and a microwave but all her meals will be provided for her in the dining hall. There is a large picture window in each room and the view in her room features a courtyard garden below and a hillside mountain above the roof lines of other buildings. There are several large gathering areas, such a library and a Rec Room, where she can entertain guests if her room feels too crowded. Lots of other amenities are available to the residents if they so choose to make use of them. Trips to go shopping, bible study, exercise classes, scrapbooking or sewing. Plenty of things to keep one busy and stimulated.
The visit went about as well as I could expect. For all of my adult life I have been aware that my mother is hard to please. She is definitely not a glass half full kind of gal. So I knew she would find plenty of things to not like about the place. Most of all I am aware that she doesn't like the simple fact that she has to move. So, it starts and ends right there which is why I pointed that out to begin with. And continued to point it out as the tour commenced and her complaints interrupted the conversation with our host. And will continue to remind her of as the weeks progress.
She didn't like the room on the 2nd floor which is the room available to her. It was too far from the dining room which is on the ground level. She didn't know how she'd ever find her way around. She was already turned around and had no idea how she got where she was. She didn't like the view because all she could see from where she was standing--in the middle of the room-- was the roof line of the front of the facility. Reminded that on a clear day she'd be able to see the mountains above, if she would just look up did nothing to appease her. Encouraged to come closer to the window and gaze down on a lovely courtyard she shrugged her shoulders and refused.
She didn't like the bathtub. She has a walk in shower at home. We discussed the safety issues of getting into the tub and she shrugged again, tuning us out. Discussing the walk from her room to the elevator and on to the dining hall was also met with resistance. She was determined to not like anything we presented to her.
So, I finally sat her down and chided her. "You have to move. You may not like it but them's the facts. Not liking it won't change that. So the best thing you can do is accept this. You think you don't have many choices and that may be true. But you can find the positive in this. It's a matter of attitude and that you do get to choose."
I have gotten so much positive feedback from family and friends regarding Rosewood Villa and that has done much to assure and reassure me. My siblings are backing me up in the decision about where we move her and that means a lot!
After the tour and an assessment from the facilities nurse to make sure Mom meets the physical/mental requirements for assisted living, the question was put out there. What would we like to do next? My answer, despite the cranky woman slouched against me, was firm and sure. "I'd like to pursue moving her here."
When I took Mom home later that afternoon and we revisited the "List" from above once again, I also repeated what I'd said about choosing her attitude. With a heavy sigh she nodded. And hugged me. "I still love you."
I guess no matter how old we get, we still want and need our parent's approval.