Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Perfect Home

Chuck’s Dad has lived in greater Seattle for nearly fourteen years. He first lived in a condominium. Later, after Chuck’s Mom passed away, Dad moved to an independent living arrangement. As his health and care needs changed, he relocated to an assisted living facility. Now, at 93, Dad lives in an "Adult Family Home". Prior to Dad’s move we had never heard of these Adult Family Homes. But the one Dad lives in now is wonderful.

Dad’s AFH is a single family home owned and operated by a lovely couple; N. and B. N. and B. have four residents living with them, including Dad. There is never a hint of impatience, weariness or frustration in their manner.  They are warm and gentle with each resident, as well as very respectful and attentive. For example, at dinner the other day, Dad and two other residents were all pulled up to the dining room table in their wheelchairs.  B. brought out their dinners of halibut in lemon and olive oil with garlic and onions, along with spinach, asparagus and rice.  She showed one of the prepared plates to Dad and explained that this was what he would be eating, then gave Dad a soup bowl with the same items having been pureed.  (Dad has trouble swallowing solid food without coughing and choking.)  Dad ate every bite and pronounced it good. Showing Dad the prepared plate was a simple, thoughtful gesture which captured the essence of both the couple and the home.  I wish N. and B. could be cloned so any “ER” in Dad's circumstances would be able to live in such pleasant and comfortable surroundings. 

We are quite relieved and delighted that even as his health declines, Dad’s sense of humor is still intact.  For example:  B., who runs the home, is a very attractive woman.  Dad was looking up at B and staring.  Because Dad has always had an “eye for the ladies” and can be a wicked flirt, I said:  "Dad, isn't B. beautiful?"    He immediately replied:  "She's not as pretty as I am!"    We all just about fell off our chairs laughing!


purpleronnie said...

Nothing wrong with the mind though - I pray that when I am old I don't mind my body going, but please god not my mind! He sounds like a wonderful person and the AFH sounds like an excellent idea!! At least he is happy and that's important!

Sue said...

So good to hear that there are people out there that care about the aged!! Saw a short documentary on one of our local news programmes last night about how an old lady was abused here in a state hospital, I find it so sad that people feel so little for older people. My grandmother suffered a series of strokes in a home and was unable to move/talk towards the end of her life. She also somehow landed up with a black eye. It's terrible how people can stip an older person of all their dignity at the end of their life's journey. I'm so glad that Chuck's dad's in a loving home!

All the best,
Sue xxx