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He’s Getting Away!!

February 23, 2011

I haven’t blogged in forever and a day. I haven’t really felt like it. There’s been plenty going on, so it’s not that I was lacking in things to talk about. Mainly I haven’t been able to squeeze out any time for myself, never mind for blogging.

Since I last posted, Christmas has come and gone and as the New Year began, so did a new phase in my life. Well, more accurately, I guess it’s a new phase in my dad’s life, but the impact on all of us has been huge.

If you read Kelly’s blog, you know that my dad was finally offered a room in a long term care facility. After about a year and half on a waiting list, his name came to the top for what was our first choice. A brand new facility, just five minutes from our home.

I don’t really want to get into how the system works, if you’re in Ontario and you’re stuck in it, you know. If you’re not, than it probably doesn’t matter to you. And if you are and you want some advice, let me know.

For us, this was an extremely difficult decision, but the right one. No matter how much we wanted to avoid this or wait longer, the potential consequences of that risk were just too high.

Dad moved into the facility in late January.

He is adjusting well. We are too, slowly. I miss having him here with us. It’s not been easy. But not having a job right now has been a true blessing. I am able to be there as much as I want, and this has made it easier for dad and for me.

There were a few bumps in the road. The facility has just opened and they are still ramping up. Small glitches are to be expected. But overall, I am very impressed.

Most importantly, I have to say that the staff there has been outstanding. The level of care my dad is receiving is great; they are always warm and caring and genuinely seem to enjoy what they are doing.

In the last few days however, the facility has been a bit chaotic. An accident at another facility has caused them to evacuate 50 or so patients, and since my dad’s facility is new and still had rooms available, these 50 patients have moved in temporarily.

They have come with their own staff. So other than supplies running short, noisier hallways with more commotion, and maybe not getting the desert choice  he wanted, there is no real impact on my father.

For me however, it’s added to a little problem I was having early on, when my dad first moved in.

You see, because I use a wheelchair, until most of the staff got to know who I was, some of them seemed unsure about whether I was a patient or a visitor. For example it would happen in the recreation room, were I would be offered to join in on craft projects or card games, and once when the fire alarm was blaring I was told “Sir, you need to go back to your room.”

With the addition of all this extra staff, the confusion has started all over. And made worse because each set of staff only looks after their own patients, so trying to figure out who I am seems important to the new ones.

The other night provided the most frustrating of these types of occurrences to date.

I had been watching TV with my dad, and headed home once he was tucked into bed. It was around 10:30pm. I had my jacket on and my car keys in hand, moving towards the front exit.

As I moved past the nursing station, I noted that I didn’t know any of the staff gathered there. I assumed they were from the other facility. I nodded goodnight but didn’t say anything. Just before I was out of earshot, I heard one say to the other, “Is that one of yours?”

I don’t know why, but any other time it hadn’t bothered me much. But this time it pissed me off. I guess it’s because of how it was phrased.

Seriously? “is that one of yours” How offensive is that question? “Does that thing belong to you?”

I blurted out “I DON’T live here!” And yes, I sounded ticked off.

One of the staff called out to me and in an embarrassed tone (she wasn’t the one who made the comment) said “no no, sorry, *I* know you are visiting someone, I’m on the night shift and I’ve seen you leaving often when I come in early.”

She asked who I was visiting and I told her. She smiled and said she absolutely loves my dad. It was sincere.

As I said, the staff at my dad’s facility is wonderful. Hopefully the other facility will be fixed up quickly.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2011 6:30 pm

    I’m glad that things are working out, albeit slowly. How frustrating that must be to be mistaken for a patient! It’s good to see you here, Sylvain. xoO

  2. February 23, 2011 7:19 pm

    You blogged! You blogged! 🙂

    Of course, between text messages and Facebook and Kelly’s blog, I don’t feel TOTALLY out of the loop – but it’s still nice to see you writing.

    I am glad everything is starting to settle a bit. I also love the blessing – unexpected – of you not working and thus able to hang out with your Dad, too. *hug*

  3. February 24, 2011 11:39 am

    I’m sorry, I did laugh. I do agree the phrasing was RUDE beyond words and NOT FUNNY at all. But I wanted you to make a sign on large cardboard to wear around your neck and/or to hang on the back of your chair that says VISITOR!!!! Maybe one of both! I can understand the new staffs confusion seeing a potential patron/patient/inmate/captive wheeling out the front door …. escaping… much as my mother wanted to do when she lived in such a place. It reminds me of the time my dear mother (who had dementia and was staying a while in a nursing home as her broken leg mended) had pushed her wheel chair to the front desk to use the phone, called me in the middle of the night to say she was in a hotel, and couldn’t find her room. Would I please come and get her?
    We used to laugh becasue it felt better than the crying we really felt like doing.

    I’m glad your dad is in a good place, and gets good care. And it is a blessing that you have so much time to spend with him for both of your sakes. How is your mom doing with him not living at home any longer? ♥

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