Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Through My Caregiver's Eyes - Christmas At Brooke Grove

Today was Christmas Family Day at Brooke Grove - Sandy Spring Assisted Living.

It is a good time to introduce you to this wonderful community.

Sandy Spring Assisted Living is part of the Brooke Grove Retirement Community. Set on 220 wooded acers, this lovely place includes Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Rehab. It is a continuing care retirement community. This means that as mother's level of care changes, she will remain "under their umbrella." Since I have seen the excellent care the nursing home residents receive, it is a comfort to know she is in a good place for the rest of her years.

The staff at both rehab and assisted living are excellent. In the short week she has been there, I have seen some of the sensitivity shown to her. Mom resisted some personal hygiene assistance and the assistant honored her wishes and backed off. But they continue to strive to gain her trust. Of course, they are strangers to mom. It will take time for her to feel comfortable with these new faces. But I know she will eventually. She had bonded with the rehab staff. On our last day there were genuine hugs all around. They were sorry to see her go ... and mom felt the same emotion.

One large improvement is the social opportunities available to her. On her second day she had a hand massage - something her old arthritic fingers really enjoyed. She attended a music and hot chocolate social, and met with a small group of residents and the chaplain for a talk. There is always something to do if you want to participate.

Today the holiday festivities at Brooke Grove are in full swing. Families are invited to attend a celebration with their loved one. There was live music and food. Mom made her way to the dessert table for her "second dessert." I think she really enjoyed it.

It was nice to meet some of the family members of other residents. It is not like home but today it felt just as festive.
Of course, tonight I am thinking again about her, wondering what she is doing. By 9:00 pm, she is probably in bed and maybe asleep. I can't help but wish she was asleep upstairs in her bedroom in my home. I know I shouldn't torture my self with these thoughts, but the nights are the hardest time for me. I know time is the only really healer.

Thank you all for you wonderful comments to my post yesterday. Each one made me tear up a bit. I am really trying very hard to look forward and see all the positives. And there are tons of positives. But there is also 5 years of care giving history I carry with me. It is going to take me a bit of time to adjust to my new role. I'll get there. I am a survivor.

But I am wearing a few "band aids" now on my heart.


  1. It looks like a beautiful facility and they seem to be trying to make it as home like as possible.

  2. Hi Elaine .. it looks like you struck lucky - the facilities look clean and good, the care sounds very thoughtful, while the activities seem to be very appropriate - music and hot chocolate sounds appealing!

    with thoughts - Hilary

  3. It sounds like getting to know and to trust is the main thing for both of you. As mom began to adjust to her new home, I began to realize the care I had given her was good but not as good as a facility built just for her particular kind of needs. I felt guilt because I felt relief. I had to come to learn that she was where she was exactly where she was destined to be in God's plan for her. It is like letting a child go into the unknown. Prayers and Blessings.

  4. It looks and sounds like a very good place that you have found for your mother. I hope she will be happy there!!

  5. well, it looks like a lovely facility and it sounds as though they have your mother's best interests in mind. it is just a matter of time for everyone to get adjusted to the new arrangement.

  6. I'm reading your posts backward, but that's okay, right? You are making progress, time is what you need. If I make it to your Mom's age, I hope there is someone who will make sure I end up in a place like Sandy Spring, it looks perfect, so homey and comfortable. Your Mom couldn't ask for better accommodations, fit for a queen.


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