Skip to main content

View Diary: Grandma (64 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Music is great (0+ / 0-)

    Not just for calming/soothing, but also just to keep her from being bored and lonely.

    My grandmother doesn't have dementia (though some have wondered, as she calls them by her daughter's, cat's, bellhop's, mother's, and sister's names before she comes up with theirs...but she's always done that). She's as brilliant and mentally competent as ever.

    But she had to move into assisted living because her body isn't what it once was, and while she has young friends to spend time with on her Mediterranean cruises and Andean adventures, she didn't have anyone to count on at home. Her main concern was that if she had a second heart attack and couldn't get to the phone, nobody would know until she didn't show up at the farmer's market in the morning.

    The first place she moved was a nice enough place, smart professional staff, clean, she had no complaints on that front. But she was bored. She was used to city life, waking up every morning and walking down to the farmer's market, going to meetings of all the clubs and organizations she was a part of, running a women WWII veterans' association, throwing parties and cooking and quilting and doing stuff all the time. And the facility she picked, while it was nice, was one of those super-quiet retirement-home-style places where people just sat in their little apartments and nobody made any noise or went anywhere and the staff did all the cooking. She said she just felt like she was being warehoused until she died of boredom.

    So she got up and moved to a different place. Also nice, but a completely different style and culture. Noisier, livelier, more active, people always having parties and listening to music and going places. She has a proper kitchen now, a space for her music and her books, people to talk to besides the staff. And she's much, much happier. And it seems like the people living there with more severe disabilities and dementia are happier and livelier too. I don't think the hospital-esque atmosphere of the traditional nursing home is good for anybody.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site