It has been a long weekend of change.
Friday we got a call from the care facility that CR would need to move into the memory ward. We had expected this day would come, but it still seems like it happened very fast.
His short term memory disappeared a couple years ago. Both Dick and I noticed that CR’s ability to carry on a conversation and use appropriate vocabulary words was failing in the past two months. But coupled with his almost complete blindness the incidents of his wandering into other resident rooms and trying to wander out of the building increased. The good news—a large private room was available, some of the staff were people he already interacted with, and it was on the second floor and closed off so there was no way he could wander out of the building.
Saturday, with the help of some great staff we were able to move his furniture and belongings in a few hours. I was also able to sort through things and cull the accumulated paper and non-essentials so he would have no clutter—something essential when you are so blind you can’t see across the room and remember that you made stacks of stuff over there—he does that a lot.
We then spent some time settling CR in. He liked the size of the new room and the lovely view out onto a tree-lined street. After a bit of a chat Dick and I took off to shop for a chest of drawers. (In the new room CR has two large closets, but no drawers. In the last room he had a drawer-filled armoire.)
Our efforts were not fruitful. We ended our search by driving over to Everest on Grand. (Have you not tried this wonderful restaurant which serves Nepalese and North Indian cuisine? You need to go there.) For me the Kauli is comfort food.
On weekdays they close between 3 and 5 p.m. to put away the buffet and get ready for dinner service, so we sat in the parking lot, car windows open, and I decided to sketch Dick.
I had only my small kid’s palette with my warm and cools—but I’ve been testing so many larger palettes that it was odd to be working with those past familiar colors. I really like the splotchiness of this sketch. At least I had a good yellow—you can count this sketch as an eyebrow update!
Dick actually nodded off while I sketched. A light breeze flowed through the windows. I can’t remember the last time we simply sat quietly together.
Sunday we ran over to IKEA in search of a chest of drawers with smooth opening action and prominent handles that CR could work from his wheelchair. Then we made our way back to CR where Dick assembled the piece and I answered CR’s continuous loop questions. Normally I can sketch when we have these conversations, but I was too tired to focus on both.
The good news is he loved the chest of drawers, it fits great in the room too.
I think over time he will be more comfortable here. He’s certainly safer. And the staff have fewer people to tend.