Monday "Memories" With My Mom

     It's Monday again...time for another entry about my mom and how she's doing (and how we're doing).  In spite of lots of setbacks, there are some things heading in a positive direction.  One thing in particular is that I was made aware of "Encore", an adult day service specifically designed for seniors who are unable to initiate their own activities.  This is key because, unfortunately, my mom does not "think of" things to do to occupy her time.  She rarely calls anyone or reads on her own.  I normally initiate the activity for her.  In my quest of looking for an appropriate living situation for my mom, I learned of the "Encore" program which takes place about 5 miles from my house.  It has been a godsend for my mom, me and my kids.  It gives her some socializing time with other seniors and me some time to just be with my kids. 

     I can't say enough about the Director and volunteers who work with this program.  They make my mom feel so welcome and special and she just LOVES it!  This particular program is actually designed for senior's with memory impairments such as dementia, Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease.  
     For my mom, we call it the "Senior Club".  Nobody (especially my 67-year-old mom) wants to think they are going to "Adult Day Care".  Before I brought my mom, I had an extensive "intake/application" process with the Director.  They were very thorough wanting to learn about my mom, her health, her personality, likes and dislikes, etc....  I was so excited because I knew if my mom gave it a chance she would love it.  The first day I brought her to the Senior Club I was so nervous...literally felt like bringing my first child to her first day of preschool.  Afterall, it was the first time in 4 months that I was going to "drop off" my mom with people she did not know. 
     Well, from the moment she walked in and they said "are you Mary?" and had a name tag all ready for her...well, let's just say they had her right then.  Everyone gathers in this big circle of comfy recliner chairs (see below)....there's music, snacks, lunch, current events, weather, horoscopes, themes each day, etc...  When I picked her up 5 hours later...she was singing away in one of those chairs and when she saw me, she literally "shooed" me away with her hand!!  I couldn't have been happier!!  If I could afford it, she would be there almost every day!!  (It's $35/5 hours and $45/up to 8 hours.  Very reasonable prices, but she does not have that extra money and, for now, we are paying for it once a week.  She has gone four times so far and it's been great.  Last week me and my 13-year-old daughter walked in to find some of the seniors were literally having a "squirt gun fight" (yes, indoors!!!???)  Too funny...I wish I had it on video.  My mom had sooooo much fun and says she wants to have a sleepover...with alcohol!!??  She's a crack up sometimes!

A comfy gathering place for "Senior Club"

     The week before when I picked her up they were just dishing out the "double chocolate cake" and sugar free ice cream to celebrate a birthday.  Right away, they asked if my mom wanted hers "to go"...  Well, if you know my mom, you know the answer was "yes please"!!!!
     Also, for those wondering, I did attend the "Alzheimer's Caregiver Support Group" that I referred to in last week's post.  I will share that experience very soon, and I appreciate the encouragement from other bloggers -- I'm not sure I would have gone without it.  In the meantime, "Encore!" for Encore!

Their information pamphlet

A typical calendar of activities


Jennifer said...

How fun does that sound???????????? Maybe she can start secret santa there and have another place to wear the hat???

Oh, and I got the Towne Club at a gourmet grocery store by me! I couldn't believe I found it!

Sarah said...

I'm so glad you've found some respite!