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Life in Assisted Living—Friday’s Fave Five

Friday's Fave Five at Living to Tell the Story I didn’t mean for it to happen.

But it has.
I’ve fallen in love with a group of people in an old folks’ home.

The precious ladies at my mom’s assisted living have won my heart without even trying or even knowing it. They’re all in the memory care unit, which means they all suffer with varying levels of dementia.

So even as I grow in knowing them, they learn me anew every day. Sort of. But that’s alright.

Here are five memorable moments we’ve shared so far.

1. The stare down
As soon as I entered the dining room, M.A. began staring at me. Nonstop. And smiling. I smiled and waved, but after awhile, when the staring didn’t end, I got up and introduced myself. We’re now friends.

Except Sunday she asked me if my name was “Jan.”

2. Bingo!
Many of the ladies play with two cards at once! My mom hasn’t gotten the hang of even one card yet, but she super-impressed me when she noticed she had a diagonal Bingo.

And okay, I admit I was impressed with ME when I had a Bingo but kept quiet about it and didn’t claim my prize. Count our victories where we can, huh?

3. Piano player
Mrs. B is a phenomenal piano player and soprano singer. She and her alto buddy sing through their hymnal, all the verses. She was a pastor’s wife and was once a missionary in Africa for several years. And now I get to hang out and sing with her!

4. The sit down
My bud M.A. (see #1) wanted me to sit in her lap Sunday. I protested that I was too heavy and would hurt her. She insisted, so I half-sat on her knee for a second. It was a slightly awkward moment, I admit. Maybe it’s something “Jan” would do.

5. Substitute church
2:00 came and went. The residents had already gathered in the day room. Where was the scheduled Methodist group? A no-show. So at 2:15, I caved and headed toward the piano myself.

Recruiting Jeff and Jenna, we started the sing-along, even though my playing was pretty rough. But it was an easy crowd.

Thankfully, my uncle (a phenomenal piano player) showed up a few minutes (and 3 times of “In the Garden”—a crowd favorite by request) later. I convinced him to take over the keys (I’ve done that all my life). We all were happy.

* * *

You never know what kind of living a week will bring!
Any surprises in your week?

Please leave a comment below. And visit our friends at Friday’s Fave Five.


Unknown said...

What a great list Lisa... brought smiles, this morning!

My daughter, a 6th grader, is doing an exhibition project for school and the topic is Senior Citizen Loneliness. At first I thought is was such a "weird" topic...but she has learned so much. Tomorrow we are going to an assisted living home to visit and play Bingo!

PS: I left an award for you on my blog.. do with it what you want!

Dorothy said...

I absolutely love this post, Lisa! Who would have guessed that God would give you such joy out of the heartbreak of your Mom's Alzheimer's? His love for His own is just amazing! To Him be the glory!

Dianna said...

I'm finding myself drawn to your blog more and more, Lisa. What an incredible week you've had! Thank you for sharing in your tenderhearted way.

Carrie said...

What an awesome experience you are having. I grinned over the stare down. haha! My mom enjoys spending time in a home on a weekly basis and she comes back with the most amazing - and hilarious stories! Such a blessing. I hope to do things like this when the kids are older. In the meantime, I love hearing your experiences.

Have a great weekend!

Jerralea said...

Lisa, it's so great you've made some new friends at your mom's assisted living! It has to make your mom's adjustment easier.

I admire you for the courage you've shown in living through the "stare down!"

Young Wife said...

That's so great! What a wonderful ministry.

Susanne said...

I loved this post Lisa. It just goes to show there is blessing in every situation if we are open to look for it. The ladies sound like a lovely group.

Barbara H. said...

I had envisioned getting to know the other residents in that way when we moved my MIL to an assisted living facility near us, but she won't go out to play bingo or even listen to groups sing or the once a month birthday celebrations for everyone with a birthday that month. She likes to stay in her room and read. When I've tried to persuade her to go to something, she tells us we can go if we like, but she doesn't want to. :-) But she does know the ladies at her dinner table a bit more than anyone else, and they greet us when we come in if they're out and about. Some of the folks are familiar to us after almost two years there. Some are always open and cheerful, some are almost always...not. :-)

You have a wonderful opportunity there!

Cathie said...

That is great you could be substitute church! I enjoyed reading your week's experiences. Thanks for sharing.

nikkipolani said...

What a surprise list of fives. You sound like you're loving this group and they are loving you. It's great to read about Mrs. B. How wonderful is it that she has a singing buddy.

Karyn said...

Your sweet heart shows through each of these 'moments', Lisa. It's obvious that not only your Mom, but her 'neighbors' will all benefit from having you visit regularly!

Jientje said...

I bet you lighted up the lives and the hearts of the people you met. You're probably in their FFF too, although they cannot remember your name!
Have a great weekend!

Unknown said...

Wow Lisa what dear stories, of such dear ladies. I can see why the group would LOVE you. Way to go playing the piano for the group.....even if it was an easy crowd. Isn't it neat how God can use a group like that to minister to YOU! :)
Enjoy your weekend!

Kari said...

this is a wonderful list of Five. What a blessing you are to them and I'm sure they are blessing you too.

Gift registry said...

Hi! Wonderful post indeed. I enjoyed reading your blog. Have a great day!


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