My mother wakes up to the smell of scrambled eggs and bacon at Cadbury Park Memory Care. She didn’t miss breakfast, her breakfast is always waiting until she is up and ready. When she was in her own home we had to rush to make her something before we had to leave the house, but here it’s waiting for her. No special chef in the morning, the staff makes all of the breakfast meals in the morning. Lisa the care giver said that the staff likes to make something special every day. Even oatmeal can be a treat because they put in brown sugar, raisins, cream and sprinkle cinnamon on top. After breakfast everyone helps out by folding napkins to be used at the lunchtime meal. This way they feel that they are helping with the preparation. I noticed that all of the residents watch when the chef arrives and he prepares meals from scratch. Fresh vegetables and cut and the smell of food gives everyone an appetite. Dishes are dotted with tiny bits of seasoning and dressing to make it more appealing. It looks like a 5-Star restaurant creating. This is important because mom was starting to skip meals, but they make such a big display when they prepare the food that it builds up her appetite.
Then comes the rosary. She gathers with a group and whether they are Catholic or any other religion they all join in and it is a social event to say the rosary and to pray with a group on Mondays. The staff knows her by name and knows what she accomplished yesterday and they remind her of the artwork she drew yesterday and that it is now hanging in her unit. She colors with pencils that actually make a picture that can be kept and placed on display in a prominent area of her unit. They also tell her she planted flowers in the flower boxes the other day. These reminders are very important to us because even if she doesn’t remember what she did yesterday, the familiar staff does and they bring these memories back to her by showing her what she created.
Before you know it, it’s time for exercise classes. My mom never exercised before but since she started to exercise long-relaxed muscles, she is more flexible and gets up out of the chair more easily. I can tell the difference when she walks into the garden. There is more bounce to her step. These are baby steps but a daughter can tell the difference. She looks forward to each day in the garden.
Music fills the community at Cadbury Park. The music is from their generation. Whether it is a gentlemen playing the keyboard or a soprano singing songs from World War II. My mom sits and listens to lively songs and the lively staff that encourages everyone to dance and sing together.
She gets her hair washed and set by a visiting beautician. The staff washes her hair in between and occasionally she takes advantage of the “spa,” a treat in the huge shower that is followed by an aroma therapy massage. Visitors are always welcome so, when I arrive it is always a pleasant experience. People are always around and upbeat. The staff greets me and they tell me any special activities my mom has been involved in. I can always watch her from the camera that is placed in the main room and I can even see her from my phone when she is having dinner.
My mom is safe and I am secure in knowing she is happy and I know there may be a time when she might not recognize me. But at least I will recognize that she is well taken care of and happy in a beautiful and friendly community