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adapting continues



In order to get Ray to where we want him to go and not get stuck in the system we had to take a temporary placement in another facility. I have emphasized to Ray that this is only "respite" which is true as they are only charging me respite rates (daily payment). He can be there for up to three months while we wait for a placement at the facility where Mum is.


It is difficult getting used to a new place. Ray is not yet used to where his (four share) room is, where the dining room is etc. As long as the staff know who he is that is not a problem. Together we are exploring the facility. I now know how to get to two different courtyards as we used one this morning and one after lunch. Spring is going though a wintery period at the moment so we were trying to find somewhere in the sun but out of the wind.


Thursday was Ray's birthday so Trev, Edie, Lucas and I took some newly printed wedding photos, nice family ones in new frames and a few bits and pieces, like new after shave lotion and for a treat a strawberry thick shake. A McDonald's thick shake is the closest thing to thickened fluids we could think of. The person in charge of birthdays did beg the staff for permission to give him cake but was refused. It was a nice thought though.


The staff soon realised it was his birthday and wished him happy birthday as we passed them in the halls. Seems like they are friendly and cheerful and hopefully competent too. The physiotherapist has assessed Ray and thinks he can stabilize his walking and he was clean and dressed and looking good when we got there on Thursday. A very good start for his first full day there.


If he really settles I do have the option at this stage of making this his permanent home though it is 25 minutes from here and not as close as I would like to others in the family so I would prefer him closer. It will be dependent on how long before our preferred option comes available. I definitely do not want him to be pushed around from one facility to another if I can help it.


After visiting Ray on Thursday Trev and family and I went to the Floral Festival, one of my favorite outings and Lucas (aged 9) drove a mini jeep and rode a horse so proclaimed it a big success. I was happy wandering among flowers and looking at nursery stalls at what is available for spring planting. The fountains and exotic garden settings and other landscape ideas will give me something to dream about.


Yesterday I had a "I don't want to go anywhere" day so I decided I would do some housework. I didn't do a lot. I had a few phone calls to make and that seemed to take a lot of time. And really this moving Ray, motivating Ray, accompanying Ray as he learns his way through the facility is almost as tiring as caregiving so I am feeling the effects of that too.


I spent an hour in west coast chat talking to Sarah (hostsarah) and as usual there was only the two of us. Come on west coast caregivers, come to chat and share your story with other caregivers. It is wonderful how much better you feel when you realise others are going through the same thing and are willing to share their experiences with you and be there for you. And this time slot is designed especially for those who can chat at 8pm PST, or 11pm if you are on the east coast. I know some of you are still up then.


Late in the afternoon a friend visited and was on the way to the shops so did I want to come? Not really, but I am taking whatever is offered as I want to start a new life and to do that I have to reconnect with friends. We did her two or three stops and then had coffee. It was nice sitting and talking without having to worry about the time or who was looking after Ray and did they need me for anything?


I am not out of the woods yet, plenty of paperwork to do, items to return to people who have lent them to me, thank you notes to write to people who have been involved in our lives during the caring period. I have to cancel or reschedule some appointments, make arrangements for Ray to have his hair cut, see if I can buy a small television set and something to play DVDs on. I would like to get taxi vouchers set up for the wheelchair taxi so we can in the future maybe have a meal out.


Today I did a split visit, 10.30am till lunchtime about noon, then went off and found somewhere to have a meal (not as nice as I expected) then back for a second hour of visiting. I met a few more staff members and filled in some more paperwork for one of the nurses. There is a lot of that even with respite. I took some crocheting this time. One of the nurses asked if it was a "worry blanket" as her daughter had a hard pregnancy and had to put her feet up a lot so her mother-in-law taught her to crochet to stop her worrying.


Tomorrow I will go to church and then out to visit Ray and have lunch there for the first time. The aide I booked in with said Sunday is a good choice as it is a roast dinner. At least Ray will see what his dinner looked like before they chopped and minced it.


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You are learning the ropes. I was afraid that this is just another way of utiiliing your time and energy.


Try to keep up your energy and spirit.


It was good to take a day off ...A YOU day.. Good for you.


The respite place sounds nice.


Enjoy that Sunday Dinner. I do hope that it is good.


I continue to pray for you and Ray.



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Sue: thank you so much for blogging today. I know you are busy, but I was so waiting to hear about the transition. I will sleep tonight-thank you. I was so worried that things would not be up to par. I am so happy he was clean, in his own clothes.


Sue, you know any transition into a new place is hard for them. It is hard for people who are just there for quick Rehab. And yes, if you find he is comfortable, happy and therapy is working well with him, just leave him there. You will make the best decision for Ray when the time comes.


Yes, the advice that just because they are in a SNF, our jobs as caregivers do not stop. Glad you are able to find some time for you and remaining open to suggestions from friends to get out. I know, like you, my first response whould be just to stay home-too much to think about. But I congratulate you on making the effort and enjoying your day.


One day at a time honey. Just let us know when you can. Prayers, Debbie

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No lunch for me today, I drop an older couple after church and they lingered and so I got there just as the first course was finishing (11.50am) so I guess they eat earlier on Sundays. I did get a cup of tea.


Ray's meal was not cut up so I did that and he had a normal serve of dessert, apple pie, cream and ice cream so maybe not down as a diabetic for weekends.He got second serving of ice cream later as that was part of afternoon tea (served at 2pm) in the lounge room where an organist was playing old songs. I shouldn't expect perfection but wasn't surprised when Ray went to take a piece of cake and I said he was diabetic so he swore at me. In Ray high sugar = bad temper.


I'll have tomorrow off as I have a heap of paperwork to chase and go again on Tuesday. I might settle for three or four visits a week further down the track.



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Sue, we have not had much personal interaction yet, but I must tell you how much I admire your strength of spirit and your unconditional love. You are what my mother would have called a "ballbuster" no offense intended, from her it was a compliment :) But it is also so obvious that your compassion runs deep. My heart is breaking for you and Ray. I am told God never gives us more than we can handle. There is something to be gained from all of this sorrow, though obviously it has not yet been revealed to you. Thank you for your continued contributions to this board when you have so much on your own plate (except lunch). I am truly grateful and honored to have made your aquaintance.



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