Monday, 16 July 2018

Family lunch :-)

Lunch out! Mission Accomplished!

A success - after lots of worry about Okaasan's ability physically and mentally to deal with a car trip/wheelchair transfers/toilet trip to an unfamiliar place/lunch in public...this is the first time in 18 months we have gone out together for a meal. Many short visits to convenience store cafe spaces for short sits and coffee - but finally a trip out as a family.

And on a horrible day of wind and rain. Couldn't be helped because we have to fix our schedule ahead of time and give the care home 2 days notice to cancel Okaasan's lunch. Hokkaido has had the worst summer of rain and wind...and yesterday was more of the same. Not good for car/wheelchair transfers.

But she enjoyed it. Quieter than she used to be. Had no idea now what a car seatbelt was for. But responded to our conversation. A bit messy eating her food and got a little mixed up with what sauces go with what foods - but SUCH a look of happiness when the food was placed in front of her :-)
A huge set lunch of sushi/steamed savory custard/tempura/rice/veg/soup...Dear Son had ordered himself a small lunch because he expected to eat her leftovers...there weren't any. Okaasan's appetite is as healthy as always.

And Dear Son stealthily got the necessary medicine hidden away in after meal coffee, which she happily drank - so there was no danger she would transform into an aggressive, howling banshee and eat a waitress.

The restaurant was full before 12 noon. We arrived at 11.20 am and it was already fulling up with other family groups - Take Your Aged to Lunch Day. Three other groups included a wheelchair user. A big family restaurant chain which has space for chairs and wide toilet spaces...also covered parking...

After we'd taken her back to the care home and sat back in the car again: we both exhaled and fist-bumped a la Obamas...a good day. To be repeated.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Another month, another (short) blog...

Still here..

Deep in a completly different waking/sleeping pattern as the FIFA World Cup reduces us in Asia to starting at 11 pm and 3 is HARD!!!

Japan did amazingly well and earned respect.
England is somehow amazing us all and got through to the semi finals.

Apologies if all of this means nothing to you :-)

Yes, she is fine. 
I haven't actually seen her for 2 weeks because I had a trip away to see a friend...and then there is football...and guests staying...and a tree in the garden infested with aphids holding a mass rally...

The care home said they had an extra place in another day of day service. Still in the same building, on the 5th floor, same staff, bigger group.
Singing, exercises, handicrafts, chat, and lunch....all very good.

Dear Son went on Friday to help Okaasan on her first day in the group. The staff were worried that she might panic because it is a bigger group, so they asked him to attend. But she was fine....friendly with people and no sign of aggression.

Really we are pleased she has settled into the routines of the care home. Talking to other residents and understanding that this place is her home.

While we focus on football, the lack of summer, and aphids.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018


Okaasan got wheels - or at least has realized she HAS wheels and how to use 'em.
DS showed her recently that you don't have to sit and wait for someone to push the wheelchair...and to our surprise, when we visited the home a few days later - there she was: wheeling!

She was away from the shared lounge. At the far end of the corridor, looking out of a window at the city.
Very happy to see us....and happy to show how she can use her hands to move the chair.

We've visited her twice recently: basically happy both times. Sing song voice and slightly loud, odd laughs and chat. But ok. The 2 nd time she seemed to be sad when we made moves to leave...and didn't want to be left back in the lounge....
But we wheeled her round the local streets and shared snacks and coffee.

The weather has been awful, so our plans for a car trip to have a family lunch got shelved. Too hard to move her from the home to the car and then car to a restaurant in wet/windy/cold weather. goes......this blog is really boring. But I guess someone somewhere might want to know how Okaasan and we are's a record of this family situation anyway....

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Smiles and giggles

That's what I think of now when I think about Okaasan: smiles and giggles.
She flaps her arms around and makes sounds of effort as they do in physical therapy sessions.
She talks cheerily about herself in the 3rd person.
She laughs and smiles.
Makes silly sounds.
Claps her hands.


In between she dozes in a wheelchair near a TV, wakes up and smiles at a familiar gaggle of old ladies around the table, waves at staff...smiles...

It is just amazing. And, thank GOD, good - how she has settled into life in a care home. This feisty, proud lady who fought off a lot of help and wanted to do things HER way.
People say to me - and I know what they mean: "Oh, I don't want to be in an institution, being cared for my strangers. I want to be independent".
But maybe, when you can't be independent, when your needs get real simple...maybe most of us can be surprisingly adaptable to the care situation?

This isn't my mother, of course. Would I feel the same if this was my Dad, my own mum?
If it were one of them flapping their arms and chitchatting like a child. Would I be able to accept that the parent-figure had gone and this elderly with a small world of self was in place?

These rambings are just to fill out some blog space, give you a reason to be here.
Cos nothing else very interesting is happening.
2 weeks ago Okaasan was sick after a lunch, but fine again by evening. Dear Son goes about twice a week. I go less. Much less. She walks with a frame, sometimes. We walk her round the local streets. We share can coffee and snacks in her room.

Dear Son has just finished a month of work with a special customer. The weather is good. We will have time to try and take her out in the car. That is our next plan.

Watch this space...patiently.