This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dad's Care Conference and An Interesting Visit With Dad...

Mom and I attended Dad's Care Conference this morning.  Dad has lost 6 pounds this month, which is an improvement since he gained 9 last month!  He weighs 160 pounds. We complimented the head chef and told him how much Dad LOVES his food!

They raved on about how sweet and nice he is, enthused by how much he enjoys the activities.

May 4th, Dad had several lab tests, specifically the HBA1C to check for Diabetes.  His fasting blood was 116 and he got a 7.4 on the HBA1C.  So far, Dad's doctor has not given any orders pertaining to Dad being diabetic or needing any medication.

We discussed at length why I am not being called with new treatments, medication or tests.  It was determined certain staff members were not as conscientious as other staff members in making the calls.  We were assured these staff members would be spoken to and reminded.  I asked them again to put a large note in big bold print on  Dad's chart, to call me first with anything new about Dad.

I also had them make a copy of Dad's current medication and medical issues.

Both Mom and I commended them on the care Dad receives.  All things considered, their quality of care is very much appreciated and valued by our family.

                                                 ***************************
Mom and I went into to visit Dad and met Doctor-Doctor in the hallway.  She is recovered from her two surgeries (gall stones and hernia) and had died her hair dark from her bleached blond.  She looked crisp and well rested in her pink breast cancer ribbon top with white pants.  She told us Dad had been grouchy early that morning and without knowing we were coming, she had told Dad he would have some visitors coming to see him....

After hugging her, we went into the dining room where everyone was playing Italian Bingo... The caller would hold up a picture of something Italian and then the letter in bold print of which letter to look for on the Bingo board.

I snuck up behind Dad so he could not see me.  Mom popped her head in front of Dad and asked him if he wanted to go out on the patio with her or finish his Bingo.  Dad laughed out loud with excitement in seeing her.  "Of course I'd rather go out to the patio with you!"

Mom stood behind me as I pushed Dad to the patio.  When I put on the brakes to his wheel chair, he saw me.  He reached out to me, calling me by name, pulling me in for a big hug and kiss.

I asked Dad where he got the tennis shoes he was wearing..."Oh they gave them to me, " he chimed... "I can run very fast and take my walks..."  Both Mom and I both spoke at the same time, reminding him what happened the last time he went for a run... "Oh, I know...but these shoes are so comfortable and fit so well...and I can walk all over...."  Mom cautioned him and I decided I would have to say something to the staff...

Dad used to walk every day prior to be admitted to the nursing home.  He had the habit of walking very fast, (I could barely keep up with him), swinging his arms in exaggerated arcs along side his long walking strides... He also did floor exercises and isometric exercises he learned in the Marines.  He was impressively limber for a man 88 years of age.  Now he is 90 and a half.

We chatted about family.  He imagined or remembered past visits with my brothers, as recent.  Dad related his visits with my brothers, telling Mom and I about lengthy discussions...I asked if he wanted to see some of my pictures, and then showed Dad the pictures I had taken from my visits with my daughters and grand sons.  I also shared photos from yesterday, when our family celebrated Mother's Day, and my niece's announcement of her engagement.  They plan to marry next June.   Dad laughed with joy, commenting on how good everyone looked.

Dad surprised us by pointing out birds and animals he saw in, I guess, patterns within the photographs.  I did a double take on several of the photos, but could not see what Dad saw...

I excused myself after awhile, and went in to talk to the charge nurse, as I was very concerned Dad was wearing the black tennis shoes.  He is NOT suppose to be wearing shoes, only his foam or non-stick booties due to his ulcer on his left pinkie toe. I was able to put faces to two people (a male and a female), whose voices I am familiar with.  I reminded them both about Dad NOT wearing shoes.  The male went outside immediately and checked out the shoes Dad was wearing

I also made sure Dad was on daily showers (which is was not) and asked them to give him a shave and trim his facial hairs...I asked for them to put a big note on Dad's chart to make sure I am called with any changes to his medication or treatment.

His male aide brought Dad's lunch to him out on the patio.  Here is a picture.  It smelled absolutely delicious!

Coffee, milk, green beans, mashed potatoes, boneless chicken breast (which I cut up), green jello with pears and marshmallows, bread and butter with spice cake for dessert.

Mom and I took turns feeding him.  He can not bend the fingers of his left hand and his right hand is still tender from his arthritis flare up...

He was a happy camper and enjoyed his food with great gusto!

It was a nice long visit.  He was happy to see the pictures.  I had to wipe tears from his right eye...not sure if he was emotional from seeing the grand kids and great grand kids, or the ulcer on his right eye lid...

After his lunch, he excused himself after a large belch and announced he would like to take a nap.  We wheeled him back to the nursing station.  The nurses prefer we leave Dad with them, than leaving him to wait in his room, because Dad has been getting up and taking himself to the restroom.  We all want to be cautious to avoid any falls.

We kissed and hugged good bye.  He thanked us for coming and told us to have a good lunch.  Mom and I were salivating from his sumptuous lunch!  Due to the blustery weather, we decided we would have soup and salad at the North Woods Inn... it was GREAT!

15 comments:

Jeanie said...

I'm glad you had such a good visit with him. It seems like things with the nursing home are sometimes two steps forward and one step back, but all in all very good. You got some great pictures of him and he looks very happy.

TechnoBabe said...

I am so glad you had such a great visit with your dad. He looks happy in the pictures. My mother will be 90 in July.

Mari said...

Such a good visit! I love seeing that smile on his face.

Chatty Crone said...

Love to hear a good update. :)

Thisisme. said...

Hi Donna. It was lovely to see a photo of your mum as well today, and look at dad smiling away! Bless! It must give you and your mum a great deal of comfort when you have good visits like this. You certainly can't fault that place on their food, can you?! Like all homes, you really have to keep on top of it though, because things can slide. Blessings to you dear friend.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you had a good visit with your father! Better watch him with those new running shoes.

That corgi :) said...

does sound like a good visit you had, Donna! I can imagine the look on your dad's face when he saw you there! The care conference sounded like it went well too; I hope the nursing home can remember the things you asked them to do to avoid "trouble" down the line; I think the note in the chart is a great way to make sure you are called first (hoping your dad doesn't end up in the hospital with the new chart routine of course.....)

you look a lot like your mom! both beautiful women!

betty

Donna B said...

Dear Blogging buddies:

I am goint to re-post the copies of comments I have in my gmail inbox, since Blogger could not restore them. I am grateful they re-published by two posts...

Your comments are very precious and valuable to me and I want you all to know your input is an important part of my blog.

Donna B said...

Blogger deleted comment on May 12, 2011 by Technobabe:

I am so glad you had a great visit with your dad. He looks happy in the pictures. My Mom will be 90 in July.

Donna B said...

Blogger deleted comment on May 12, 2011 by Mari:

Such a good visit! I love seeing that smile on his face.

Donna B said...

Blogger deleted comment on May 12, 2011 by Chatty Crone:

Love to see a good update. :)

Donna B said...

Blogger deleted comment on May 12, 2011 by Alex J. Cavanaugh:

Glad you had a good visit with your father! Better watch him with those new running shoes!

Donna B said...

Disclaimer: Sorry to all deleted commenters for not being able to link back to your blogs when I re-posted your comments. Most of you are on my blog rolls, so hopefully, anyone wishing to visit you will be able to contact you there...

The Words Crafter said...

Yay all around!!!! Good reports, great visit.....I'm so thankful for you guys the sunny days. Hopefully, you've gotten a few things straightened out, too. Especially the calling order.

Congratulations on the upcoming wedding, too :)

Linda O'Connell said...

Donna, it sounds like this was a great visit with your dad. Don't believe a word the staff tells you, as they tell you what you want to hear while you are there. Just make your presence known through unexpected phone calls and visits. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Walk in with a camera one day and don't speak to anyone. They will give him extra care, and you too:)
http://lindaoconnell.blogspot.com