Tales From A Retirement Home…

This month marks the one-year anniversary of my MIL living in an assisted living facility.  Making the choice to move her  there was one of the most difficult decisions our family has ever had to face, but we know in our hearts it was the right decision.  She’s settled in nicely, and although she’s had some health issues over the past year, all is well with her at the moment. 

Recent visits with my MIL have uncovered some interesting developments at the home, as well as brought to mind some past experiences with my own mother that I’d like to share…

First of all, just because these folks are in a retirement home, doesn’t mean they are dead!  Life goes on.  My MIL  recently shared with me that Mr. Russell, the only male resident at the home, now has a girlfriend!  She says the two of them hold hands during the day, and can be seen “smooching” in the hall at night.  My MIL is appalled by this, but I think it’s sort of sweet.  I say, where there’s life, there’s love…  When my MIL told me about this incident, it made me recall an incident concerning my own mom, which happened a few years ago.

My parents were both nursing home residents for a couple of years before daddy died.  Both suffered major illness(at the same time) which resulted in very poor health.  They roomed together up until daddy’s death.  A couple of years after daddy had passed away, another male resident of the nursing “took a liking” to mama.  His name was “Mr. Red”, and he was a little crazy–literally.

Mama was flattered, but not really interested.  One evening “Mr. Red” decided he wanted to give my mama some flowers.  So just what does a male resident of a nursing home do when he desires to give a lady some flowers?  He’s on a limited budget, you know.  Why he goes out to the front porch of the home, and steals a hanging basket of flowers off of a hook, then takes it to his lady friend!  Oh the laughs we had over that one!  “Mr. Red” never did kindle a romance with mama, even after he brought her flowers!

Another funny incident concerning my MIL happened a few weeks back.  Occasionally, she has out-of-town doctor’s appointments.  Whenever this occurs, my husband takes her car to the home and leaves it.  The lady administrator then drives my MIL to her out-of-town appointments. My MIL enjoys riding in her own car on these trips.

My MIL’s car had been parked at the home for a couple of days when another one of the residents, Ms. Jean, asked her, “Is that your car parked out there?”  My MIL answered, “Yes, it is.”  Ms. Jean  went on to say, “Well why don’t I go and pack my things, and you go and pack up yours, and let’s get the heck out of here?!”  We got a few laughs out of that story, too! 

My MIL went on to explain to Ms. Jean that they couldn’t just run away.  This particular lady, happens to have Alzheimer’s, and has been on a quest to run away for several months now.  She’s made several escape attempts, bless her heart.

Recently, a cousin of my MIL’s moved into the home.  At first, I thought, this will be great!  Well, I think I was wrong!  This lady has Alzheimer’s, too.  She has it stuck in her mind that her husband is coming back from Mexico,  to rescue her from the home!  She’s driving my MIL crazy about this!  I don’t know if the lady has a husband, or if so, why he’s in Mexico, but she’s adamant that he’s coming to rescue her!  Which brings to mind another story about my mom…

At one point, after my daddy passed away, my mom had a complete mental breakdown.  The doctor explained to us that sometimes when reality is just too painful to deal with, our minds will create a type of “fantasy world”.  For a time, in my mama’s “fantasy world”, she  thought she had won the lottery– and that “Walker, Texas Ranger”, aka Chuck Norris, was coming to rescue her from the nursing home!  She was totally convinced about all of this, so we didn’t try to argue much with her about it.  Fortunately, she eventually came out of her “fantasy world”, but occasionally she would still say “odd” things right up until she passed away a few years later.  Mama kept us on our toes, right up until the end. 

 And I used to think life in a retirement home was boring…


Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 8:50 am  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great stories and memories about your family. Love the flower basket right off the porch! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Funny memories! Thankfully your MIL didn’t decide to leave with the other woman who was wanting to escape!

  3. Wow – sounds like a soap opera. 😛

    I love the part about the hanging basket. 😀

    Have a nice weekend. 🙂

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