Free at Last

Today marks one week since we moved J to a continuing care community.  (That’s the euphemism for a facility that encompasses personal care (aka assisted living), memory care and skilled nursing.)  I have visited six times, sometimes just for 45 minutes or so, and she seems quite settled and content. I can do this because the CCC is less than a mile from our house.

I am painfully aware that J’s world has contracted.  The paradox is that she is much freer at her new home than she was at ours.  At our house, she was almost constantly under my supervision or the control of a caregiver.  At the CCC, she comes and goes as she pleases.  She participates in the activities that interest her, and isn’t required to do things she doesn’t want to do.  According to the night security guard, she already has friends.

Her interests are changing.  She has begun painting (see above), although she hated arts and crafts as an elementary school teacher.  She reportedly takes part in all the exercise classes, while in the past she would have ridiculed organized movement.

Except for one time when speaking with her brother, she has not mentioned home or asked to go there.  Tonight, she told me, unprompted, that she is happy there.

All of this is a huge relief, as I adjust to living apart.  Tomorrow, I plan to take her out to dinner.  It will be the first time she leaves since she arrived.  We’ll see how it goes.


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