Join us for Still Rockin’: A Night of Music to Support Programming and Resources for Older Adults

Join us for Still Rockin’: A Night of Music to Support Programming and Resources for Older Adults

Since February, after my grandmother had a blood infection that induced a heart attack and landed her in a nursing home, I have been fretting over the possibility of a decline. I had the opportunity to visit her last week. Preparing myself for what I might find – someone saddened and feeling defeated, I was pleasantly surprised. The facility was clean with a superb staff, and my grandmother was thriving!

Exposed to more activity than my family had been able to provide in her previous situation, her schedule is full of exercise classes, town outings, performances and spa days. I could hardly keep up with what she was doing and when. Popping in here and there, I found her speeding down the halls with her walker, making the rounds and checking in on her new friends (I swear she needs a little horn on that thing). At times, she would be parked on a bench in the hallway watching folks come and go. I was pleased to find that she attends every activity, and she was pleased to tell me all about how she her nails get painted every couple of weeks. Based on the drawers full of candy, chips and clocks, it seems she has quite a knack for bingo and hardly lets anyone else win.

Before every meal, she declares she is not that hungry, yet clears the majority of food on her plate every single time. Her only complaint is that her roommate just sleeps all the time and doesn’t talk to her. She joked, “I have to force her to talk.” Perplexed, I asked, “How do you force her to talk?” She responded a bit annoyed, “Well I just ask her a million questions until she starts answering some of them.” I couldn’t help but laugh. I suppose that is one way to get someone to talk to you. Now I know where I get it from.

I realized a few things after spending a bit of time in and out of the facility with her. If you have a loved one in a facility, especially with dementia, you might find the following tips helpful.

Carrie Robertson
Research & Community Education
Chicago Skilled Nursing

Chicago Senior Living

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