JewBu Quest: From Abuse to Happiness

JewBu: a Jew who practices forms of Buddhist meditation & spirituality. This blog documents my quest to 1) heal from sexual, verbal, and emotional abuse, 2) come to terms with losing Mom and Grandma to Alzheimers, 3) find balance, explore the spiritual, stay present. Bascially, I've experienced some pretty crappy shit in my life and want to find a way to move past it and find happiness.

Friday, July 28, 2006

An Exhausting Night, But Healthier

Last night was frustration after frustration with my mom. I'm especially getting peeved with the staff of Mom's facility, who seem to not pay my mother much attention sometimes, some more than others. Now the big benefit of assisted living facilities is supposed to be the activities they provide. BUT every night that I arrive, Mom is in her room basically getting in trouble, so to speak. Sometimes, there are activities going on in common areas, but it seems that no one has bothered to bring my mom.

The scheduled said that last night would be a "sentimental sing-a-long" which is my mom's favorite activity at the ALF. So, I talk the activity up to Mom and bring her to the kitchen to wait for it to start. I even start collecting other residents (asking them to sit with us) so that there's a mass of people so the staff won't have an excuse not to do it. I hear one of the other residents ask a staff person about the sing-a-long, but the staff person says "There's no singing, but we're going to bake cookies." Now, baking cookies is something that I've spoken to numerous people about. They don't have an oven (only an old toaster oven) on my mom's floor, most of the work is done by the staff, and there isn't much for the residents to do. Instead, I suggested making cookie cakes - bringing in already made cookies (which the kitchen could make for us) and cake decorating items like sprinkles and icing and letting residents decorate the cookies. Everyone can do this, and those who don't like to decorate can eat the cookies of the others.

I've brought over materials to make cookie cakes a couple of times, and it always goes over really well. So, when the staff person couldn't find the needed materials to make cookies, I offered to go to the grocery store to get materials to make cookie cakes. The staff person said that she'd like me to do this. So, I have another big balagan getting Mom ready and to the grocery store, and then when we get back upstairs, I hear singing....they started the sing-a-long. Now, I'm angry. Why would the staff person have me take my mom away when they're going to do her favorite activity?

I notice that Mom has her shoes on the wrong feet, and she has to go to the bathroom. Finally, I get her to the group, and there isn't any room where they are, I have to pull a chair into a corner for my mom (who is anxious because I don't sit next to her, but there's no room), and I have to go bug a staff person for a booklet of the songs that everyone else already has. I look through the booklet and realize that almost all of the songs are from before my mom's time, so she won't know any of them.

Anyway, after all of these frustrations, I came back to my Dad's, cuddled with my dog a bit, didn't have a drink or eat anything, but did Soduko and the stresseraser and took some melatonin and had a good night's sleep. I feel better today. It is better that I found a healthy way to relax than trying to cover up the anger and frustration.


Anonymous Peg Lee said...

It sounds like you had an interesting night. I dont understand how after they told you the were not having a sing along, that they have one. Thats so wrong!! Did you all make the cookie cakes?..sounds like that would be very stimulating for the residents and a great idea!!

Saturday, July 29, 2006 8:26:00 AM  
Blogger Karma said...

Yes, after they said that they weren't going to have a sing a long and then asked me to go get supplies to make cookie cakes, then they do a sing a long. I had my mom make cookie cakes after she got bored with the singing (since she didn't know the songs), but it isn't as much fun without others doing it too.

Thanks, Peg. It is a good idea though, I still think, and I recommend it others to try.

Saturday, July 29, 2006 9:12:00 AM  

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