Sadness Outside, Music Inside

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Moving into the Nursing Home

Here is a word of advice — try NOT to move a loved one into a nursing home on a Friday evening.

First, it’s the weekend staff, not the regular staff.  Now I’m sure the weekend staff was quite competent, but they had to wait until Monday to get him checked by the medical team.

Second, they wouldn’t let Dad get up and walk until physical therapy visited him on Monday.   They had to help him in and out of bed and put him in a wheel chair.

There were buzzers on the wheelchair and bed, in case he tried to get up on his own.  It was his own brick wall.

Not being able to walk on his own made Dad frustrated and angry. (And who could blame him!)  It was a bad weekend.  We spent as much time as we could with him, wheeling him about, trying to talk to him, watching him shakily eat.

Shuffle, Shuffle, Shuffle

Finally, on Monday physical therapy assessed him, and let him get up and walk.   Or should I say he shuffled.

He shuffled back and forth,

back and forth,          

up and down the halls. 

I was concerned he might walk right out the glass windows.

He barely talked, when he did it was in a whisper.

Music Lives Forever

But do you know what he COULD do?  He could hum hymns, and even sing a line, in a  very low voice.   They say music stays deep in the brain, even through the fog of dementia.

Listen to this good old hymn sung by Tennesse Ernie Ford.  He explains how this hymn came to be, very appropriate for our Dad’s setting.

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In the beginning, once he got over the shock of moving, Dad was still his charming self to the staff and residents –  they loved him!   He’d often smile, and help out when he was able.

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