My father, at age 96, has always reminded me of John Wayne. Stoic and always there with a great ice breaker. My father is also my friend, and it’s hard to watch him become vulnerable. We started to realize that dad needed more assistance and someone to help him, but not encroach on his dignity.
I knew that a nursing home was not a good fit for dad. Dad’s scoliosis, mobility, hearing, and short term memory was declining and loneliness began to creep in. We found that he wasn’t eating and was losing weight. Now, a Help at Home aide visits him in the mornings and makes his breakfast and coffee, so he isn’t alone when he wakes up. He also receives a hydrobath from Day Break, and the Mini Bus is a life saver because he can’t drive.
This has been the turning point to him regaining his vitality. He is flourishing now and I don’t see him depressed. You should have seen me three years ago, I was a mess. I was so stressed from the fact that I didn’t know what to do. The Senior Center’s attitude of, “What can we do? How can we make this better?” is without judgment. I am not powerless anymore.
My mom, Martha McKenzie, went to Day Break (i.e. Adult Day Care Program) for the last year of her life. She enjoyed going there so much. My mom was not a very outgoing person. Prior to living with my sister for seven months, and living with my husband and me for a year, she lived alone. My husband and I both work full tie jobs. The problem was that we could not leave mom alone during the day. That’s when we learned about Day Break. My mom loved the staff and told me how respectful they were and how well they treated her. Even though her memory was not what it used to be, she always remembered to tell me when they sang and played musical instruments.
Day Break is very important to the community of Sheridan. Without it, mom would not have been able to live with my husband and me the last year of her life. She spent only one month in the nursing home before she passed away in July of 2014. She had the best of both worlds, living with us and going to Day Break.
I was diagnosed with lymphedma in July of 2005. I continued to work, but in September of 2008 I became very ill and almost died. I was forced to retire early because of my chronic health problems. I struggled. I was introduced to the Sheridan Senior Center’s Home Delivered Meals and Transportation services. With this support I was able to stay out of the hospital. Days I did not feel well, I could count on a decent meal. Although I had another setback that required surgery, my lab results were good so I did not need to wait. I attribute this to the good nutritious meals I was getting. The Sheridan Mini Bus got me to all of my appointments and to the stores so I could keep living at home.