Compassion and Kindness
My Dad had lived independently until the spring of last year when he got pneumonia and landed in the hospital. My siblings and I all live away from San Antonio so being with him presented us with unique problems. We stay in San Antonio during his hospital stay and felt sure we would lose him any day. He had complication after complication but somehow managed to beat the odds and survive the ordeal. He was however no longer able to live alone and had to go to the full service nursing home for a month and it was clear that the institutional and non-nurturing environment there was out of the question for long term care. I was on a mission during his stay to find a home that could offer him a better quality of life while still having someone watch him closely and help him transition to this new life setting. I found Carol Ann’s and my prayers were answered.
The day I checked him out of the nursing home, he was very confused and wanted to go home. Of course with Dementia and his overall weakened condition that was not about to happen. On the drive to Carol Ann’s he was upset and agitated about yet another change. Once we walked in the door at Carol Ann’s Hilton Head home, we were greeting with smiles and excitement about our arrival. Dad’s demeanor changed as he was offered coffee and a sweet roll. While I finished paperwork, Dad was attended to by the staff and made to feel not only welcome but important. He wanted to smoke so a trip to the back yard (which faces a golf course) was like a trip to paradise. He watched the birds and squirrels playing and relaxed.
My Mother (his ex-wife and best friend) arrived with my sister and when Dad returned from his smoke he was greeted with more family. His face lit up and he smiled and talked with Mother and the staff. An experience that I was sure was going to become of the most difficult quickly became pleasant and reassuring. By the time we left he was content with his surrounding and ready for a quick nap. I checked back later that evening and found him talking with the staff at the kitchen table.
My Dad is not an easy person to please and can be difficult and rude; but the staff at Carol Ann’s made it a point to find a way to keep him safe, comfortable and well care for during the 14 months he has lived there. My siblings and I made the decision to move him closer to my home since none of us lives in San Antonio. I can only hope that the staff at our future residence will approach their daily tasks with the compassion and kindness that I saw and experienced with everyone that works at Carol Ann’s.
December 24, 2014