At eighty-five our mom has advancing proximity awareness dementia, as well as other mental and physical challenges. Even with a full time caregiver it has become no longer safe for her to live in her home, so her four kids spent March and part of April thoroughly researching her options and (with the much needed help of Misty at the Estate Preservation Network) finally ended up choosing and getting mom into a more comprehensive care nursing facility in Round Rock called Bel Air at TeraVista.
We expected actually getting her to accept going into a nursing home would be difficult, but she has seemed happy throughout the process. I believe Bel Air just proved to be a lot nicer than she had expected. The first thing she saw when she arrived at that facility was a real chapel and a library with plush leather chairs. Then we showed her, her new address in “Blanco Hall”. The room is much more like its own little efficiency than the typical “older hospital” feeling rooms we’ve seen at so many other places. It is very comfortable and clean, with a nice view of the courtyard. She has her own restroom and even a fridge and microwave. The room is fully furnished, but they let us bring in a bunch of framed photos of family and some of her most loved possessions, so it does very much feel like her own space and place when we go visit.
She is getting a perm today at the onsite Beauty Salon in preparation for Mother’s Day, but otherwise is not getting out of her room enough. She’s been there less than 30 days, so the fact that she is so comfortable remains foremost in our minds, but there are lots of activities and, since Bel Air has their own bus, trips for their residents to go shopping, to the movies and such that we are trying to get her to attend more often. The staff is helping and family members are regularly visiting and making sure she minimally goes to at least the onsite events, such as the Ice Cream and Popcorn Socials, Bingo and Dominoes, and Movie Nights. She was just as sedentary at her home, but without the wealth of social interactions that are available at Bel Air. We will just have to hope time and the good efforts of everyone involved prevail on this front.
I do want to add that the entire staff in Blanco Hall have been consistently helpful. In fact, our experience with the intake and finance departments and all the rest of the Bel Air staff, from Tina in reception to Maria who cleans her room, have been great. Thank you Kristi, Debbie, Katie and everyone else. I can’t begin to express how much your professional caregiving and your good help and have meant to us in this very tough situation. Our entire family hopes and expects our mother will be happy there for many years to come.