I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. I felt the way I did back in 1913 when we were moving her to Atria. My mood darkened when I saw that it was POURING outside. Bad omen. I got a text message from Sandy about what I should bring with my mother when we brought her. I went to CVS and bought about $50 worth of "toiletries" and a bag for them as well as some GREAT slippers that will be perfect...and since they fit me, I know they will fit her
The plan was to go to the Atria hairdresser at 2 p.m. so she would not look like a witch with straggly hair, and then Ned and Walt would meet me and we would pack her up and head for Woodland by 3:45. When I got into the car, there was blue in the sky. Good omen? Even better was a parking place at Atria. Definitely a good omen.
Don't believe in omens. Though they told me she had been in good spirits in the morning, she was in HORRIBLE spirits when I got there. From time to time, she decides that things aren't being run right, that the people in charge don't know what they are doing and, if I'm there, somehow it's my fault. I couldn't say anything to her that didn't evoke a complaint and anger that I was trying to get her to go to her apartment.
I finally told her that I was taking her to get her hair cut because she's been complaining that it's so long. Wrong thing to say. She didn't want to go. She doesn't want her hair cut. I couldn't make her go. I wasn't the boss of her. I tried walking her down the hall and she spied Tony in the dining room and that was it for moving her forward. She actually whirled and said "I'll HIT you if you don't leave me alone!" and then made a beeline for Tony.
One of the staff asked me if I wanted her to try getting her to the hair dresser and I thanked her and went off to the apartment to start packing. Ned arrived with boxes and a cart to move things. By now the staff member wasn't having any better luck than I had trying to get her hair cut. Ned went to try and actually got her out of the memory unit, but apparently when he got to the elevator, she freaked out and refused to get in it. So he sat with her for a long time and got her calmed down. By the time they got to the apartment she was in good spirits (but still had long hair)
She was fine while we packed up and didn't even make a fuss about the mess in the apartment. When we were finished, I went to get her meds to take to Eldervilla and then went to meet Walt and Ned and leave.
The saddest thing was that she has lived at Atria for 6 years and not one person said goodbye. In fact, the director kind of blew me off. I know it wouldn't have meant anything to my mother but I thought surely somebody would say goodbye.
We were right on time at Eldervilla -- well, a minute late. We arrived at 4:01. Sandy was great and seated my mother on a couch with another resident, Jeannie, who has been there three years and still doesn't know his name.
She and my mother chatted a lot while I went over paperwork with Sandy. I tried to get a picture of Simba, but he wouldn't stay still long enough but I did this this.
My mother and Jeannie talked a lot and even sang a little together. She was settling in nicely until I told her I was leaving, then she panicked. While I had been going over paperwork with Sandy, Ned and Walt had been setting up her room. When I was there before I saw the room. I thought it was nice, but somewhat like a prison cell. Ned managed to turn it into a warm, welcoming bedroom. You can't see it all in the photo of the day, but her big family picture is hung up and as many photos as we had (she has lost 7 of the framed photos of her family--I don't have a clue where they are. Also, one of the pairs of shoes I bought for her (and LABELED for her) last week was also missing. I am so glad to be out of Atria!
Anyway, I told her goodbye and left her with Ned. He got her calmed down and then turned her over to Sandy and we were all out of there. I won't go back now until Jeri gets here next weekend. By then she will have had a week to acclimate and I hope will be feeling better.
I am feeling both apprehensive about how she is doing and how she will do overnight, but also immensely relieved that she is in a place that seems much more safe and loving than Atria ever felt.And of course it doesn't help that it's $2,000 less than Atria AND they do in-house haircuts free.