Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Life at 62 in a seniors' residence

The field beside the parking lot
We saw a fox but where unable to
take a picture of him/her
So here I am.  At 62 a resident (for a week) in a seniors' residence.  How do I go about describing the experience?  What words do I use?  What style do I write it in?  Or maybe like when I first starting writing this blog, I just dive on in.  So here we go....

A picture board sibling bear
put on her bathroom room
My day usually begins anywhere between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. when, what I call the brigade, comes in.  Usually first is an aid to put on Matriarch Bear's elasticized stockings which, I believe, are to help with blood flow.

Next, in line is the nurse with a pill - not for me.  Usually, they knock loudly on the door, then open it and call out Matriarch Bear's name.  Now if this doesn't raise the dead - or rather sleeping bear on the pull-out sofa - I don't know what will.

Next comes breakfast in the downstairs dining room at 8 a.m.  Matriarch Bear now skips this as her worst time seems to be in the morning.  She's slow to wake up and her breathing problems, even with oxygen, are worse in the morning. So now they either bring up a tray or one of her cubs makes her breakfast.  It's relatively easy when I'm on-site for one of my irregular visits, but when Sibling Bear is in town, she has to drive over every day and make Matriarch Bear tea and toast and then play a game with Matriarch Bear.

Matriarch Bear's living room
The view from Matriarch Bear's
second floor apartment
Matriarch Bear's door
I love to walk down
the hallway and see
what how the other
residents have decorated
their space

Today, Matriarch Bear had no intention of getting up.  However, a lady was coming to play her trombone in the living room downstairs and I really was curious to see how this went, so I asked Matriarch Bear if she minded if I went down alone.  Apparently, she minded because the next thing I knew she was maneuvering her red, wheeled walker out the door and down the hall.  I had problems keeping up with her!  She can be one determined bear when she wants to be!

Not everyone attends the activities, so there were maybe 20 or so residents listening to the trombone lady.  She was actually quite good and engaged her audience in conversation.  Laughter.  Clapping. Enthusiasm.  Good music. Doesn't get much better than that now does it?

You've heard of the long, long trailer?
Well, here's the long, long hallway
Next ... one of the big "social" events of the day.  Lunch.  Or probably rather dinner as they serve the main meal in the middle of the day and a lighter meal in the evening.  When the residence first opened, they tried letting people sit more or less where they wanted to.  But they didn't work out well, so now each resident is assigned to a table.  Since, there are no extra places at the table for four where Matriarch Bear usually sits, we've been moved to a table with two lovely newcomers to the residence, B and M; 90 and 97 respectively.  These two ladies were neighbours for years but were forced to move when the management of their apartment building decided to renovate the units.

Alack and alas, I must stop now as supper, the last major social event of the day, starts at five - and I have at least a 10 minute walk back.  Oops.

Can't get in trouble with Matriarch Bear, now can I?

So I will stop where I am ... and come back for more tomorrow.

The living room - on normal day

The wall of art in the dining room
Several of Matriarch Bear's original paintings are on this wall -
towards the left.

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