A Place for Mom

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A Place for Mom

I put a $500 deposit on a place for my mother. It is not one I thought I would have chosen, but it feels right.

Last week I received many calls and emails with suggestions from Brad, the senior living placement advisor, and I spent countless hours looking at places for my mother.

I started out with certain criteria in mind.
• It had to be clean, neat, and tastefully decorated.
• Have a private room and bath
• The caretakers were aware of what care my mother needed and had experience with dementia patients and treated                              them with dignity.
• Show that they were friendly, caring people.
• Have a warm, homey atmosphere.
• A positive feeling about it and a place I could picture my mother.

My sister was worried that I would be too concerned about “how a place looked” instead of the people who worked there. I know I am a little compulsive about how a room looks; it needs to be well coordinated with not a lot of knick knacks or frills. My mother’s house was always clean and neat and decorated nicely so I know she feels the same way I do. Even though she has dementia I think she would feel better in surroundings that she feels more comfortable in.

Atria has a lot of windows and always felt open and bright. The rooms have large sliding door windows which also lets in light. The staff was very friendly. Everyone greeted you, and the staff always acknowledged each resident by name. This is the atmosphere I hoped to find again.

I felt a bit like Goldilocks in my search. There was the place that had white walls and floors and hardly any decorations- too cold. And the places that were too ethnic or too cluttered- too warm.

I finally narrowed it down to two.

Emeritus is a large facility that has a 24 bed memory care unit. Residents have private rooms and baths; there are structured activities, a large activity room and dining room. Every week the residents of the unit bake cookies for the whole resident population. It was nicely furnished and seemed like a caring environment.

Trinity Gardens is facility built to house up to ten seniors. It felt more like a home. When I arrived, the cook, a friendly older woman, was preparing the day’s lunch.The kitchen opens up to the common area and is connected to it by a long pine table where everyone eats. There were windows all along the back which made it bright and warm. Off of the common area were the bedrooms. They have both shared and private rooms. At this time they only had a shared room available.

Which place did I choose?

I chose Trinity Gardens. My mother will have to share a room until she can have a private one. I met the lady who it to be her roommate. She does not have dementia, but is limited to a wheelchair because of a stroke. The owner thinks they will get along well together.

Why? My mother baking cookies?! No way. Trinity Gardens is more of a family atmosphere and I think that is what she needs at this time in her life.

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