Finding Fun for Dean

Teresatalk

Finding Fun for Dean

Teresatalk
It's been a year since Dean's been in "lock-up", as he calls it--the long-term care facility that has rescued me from his medical issues that I knew were way above my skill level for continued home care, especially for someone with dementia.

Much of the physical care, and stress that went along with it, has been passed on to his nurses. But I had no idea that his emotional and mental care would be just as challenging.

Fortunately, I'm able to visit him in person two or three times a week, and our daughter also gets there at least once a week. This is a much better average than for a lot of the residents at his facility, but it still doesn't prevent him from wanting to come home.

I've tried to arrange outings and events for him to attend. He's been able to come to church a few times, went on a picnic with his support group friends, and to a good-bye party at the day structure program he was involved in for years. I talked a friend of ours into putting on a concert at his care facility, and will soon arrange for another group to provide religious music there.

Little did I know my caregiving would evolve into that of a social activities director. But, to be honest, that's what it feels like these days. I have more admiration for real social directors now. And certainly, a greater appreciation for those groups and individuals who take the time to come to these care centers and provide much needed joy and fun for those in Dean's situation.

If you have any inclination to reach someone in a tangible, thoughtful way, find out the needs of your local care center and offer your time and services. It's a great way to brighten the lives of some very deserving people. Someday, it might be your spouse or grandparent who will be the resident-in-need.

Dean enjoying a picnic with friends.