While Ned took Walt to Kaiser for a class teaching him how to use his new CPAP machine, Marta came with me to Woodland with a lovely man named Mark Wolf, of "Seniorly," a service like "A Place for Mom," which helps people find the best arrangement for their aging parents. Mark was taking us to see a board and care home called Eldervilla.
I posted this photo a couple of days ago.
There were no turkeys in front, but it's on a nice quiet street and I liked it even before we got out of the car.
But what really sold me on the place was the sound of barking from inside the house and being greeted by Simba, a big shaggy dog, perhaps one of the cleanest dogs I've ever seen. My mother has always loved dogs.
The place is run by an affable man from India named Sandy (actually I think his name is Sandhu, but The Psychiatrist and Mark both told me his name was Sandy). I didn't meet his wife, who was at work, but I met the two helpers and the woman from Hospice, who visits regularly.
The place had such a warm, wonderful feeling. There was one resident sitting on the couch listening to us and laughing. The TV was on but it was just the aquarium, interesting to look at, but not something inane to mesmerize someone.
There was the smell of cooking that filled the house and someone was making lunch for the residents.
Two women were at a table with another helper playing a game or something. One woman was asleep in her room another was in her room watching television and the last was a man who may or may not have mobility problems, who was sitting in his room. But the atmosphere was just one of...I don't know...life. You don't get that at Atria. And I loved it that Simba followed us everywhere. There is another dog, who is kind of protective of the woman watching TV and growled but Sandy assures us that once she knows you, she's fine.
My mother's room would be very small, with just a single bed (not a double, as she has now) and a chair. Everything is furnished--the bed, the furniture, the linens, etc. It's conducive to her NOT spending her time in her room, but joining others out in the living room. I can see her straightening things up when she feels comfortable there. There is also a nice view out her window of the street in front of the house.
The bathroom is amazing, all the features they have, such as a temperature gauge on the shower so they can have the water just the way each person likes, safety bars everywhere. And there is a bidet that fits onto the toilet seat.
I was impressed with the way they lock the front door, which would be pretty much impossible for any of the residents (all of whom have dementia) to figure out.
There is a very large back yard, which is pretty bare right now but which will be more lush as spring approaches.
The more Sandy talked, the more I liked it. It's everything I had hoped for for her and the best part is that it was recommended by The Psychiatrist, whose patient is one of the residents, and he visits regularly, so it's not like I'm going into it blind hoping that it's a reputable place. It also has a 5 star rating and over the past several years, Mark showed us that on its inspections, it has never had more than a couple of small violations for paperwork.
Best of all, it's $2,000 less a month than she is paying at Atria.