Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Country Villa is a challenging place for Mom.
After living on a floor dedicated to elderly dementia patients, she is now among a variety of people: elderly who have health problems but no loss of memory, younger persons who are disabled, psychiatric patients from age 50 to 90, and others with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia.
Is this mainstreaming good for her, as it is usually good for children with special needs?
Will it stimulate her mentally and challenge her to think and communicate better than on a memory-care floor?
Or is it too challenging for her?
And what about the many people here who are in full control of their mental abilities and have to put up with Mom at their table at meals? Is that fair to them?
My favorite person here is Phyllis Berg, a former public health nurse in her early eighties. She's blonde, blue-eyed, and graciously, originally from north of Minneapolis. She never married, has no children but has a nephew in the area.
She's here only because she has medical needs, such as pureed food, perhaps sometimes an IV.
Phyllis has been very kind and solicitous toward Mom.
"Why are you here?" I asked her, wondering why she couldn't be in an assisted living residence somewhere.
"For convenience," she said, not explaining further.
Perhaps she can't afford to pay for assisted living; this place is free to those with Medicaid and no financial resources.
I didn't ask her how she copes with sitting at meals with mindless people and lunatics.

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