Happy New Year dear readers!
So. This New Year I had none of the obligations to do anything about Japanese traditions and customs...none of the special food shopping/prepping/cooking or serving. No need to take Okaasan for walks round supermarkets and stop her buying expensive ingredients for meals she had long forgotten how to make.
This time I accepted a friend's offer for a Dec. 31st dinner in her home - ironically and usefully just two blocks away from the care home.
So I arrived at the care home at 5 pm just as all the residents were tucking into a special dinner of celebration foods in the lounge, with the TV showing old fashioned songs performed by ladies in kimono and men with hair gel.
Okaasan was in good form - telling me about the foods, about the decorations...laughing about the TV. The staff gave her the after dinner coffee, which is laced with her dementia medicines, and she drank it happily.
I stayed an hour and then headed off to my New Year at my friend's home.
What a difference from years past!
The floor manager mentioned to me something about Okaasan not being so great about going to Day Service (on another floor of the same building), something about her shouting and not feeling happy in a new place.
So, when Dear Son came home for 2 days from ski work - he went to see Okaasan. Found her happy enough - but bizarrely singing an old Tokyo summer festival song, along with the hand movements...continuously...
And he talked to the manager about the Day Service problems.
Seems, very disappointingly, that Okaasan only went to day Service ONCE. She got very agressive and shouted at people, so they took her back to her residential floor and then DIDN'T TRY AGAIN.
That is bloody amazing. And ridiculous.
One time? And they gave up?
And didn't discuss this with us? (To be fair, there was some mix up about my correct phone number)...but even so.
Day Service was meant to be a big plus in Okaasan's life in this care home - the chance to get her leg muscles strong enough by walking practice, and have more one-on-one communication and activity, such as handicrafts.
And they gave up after one bad experience?
We're not happy.
This week is still holiday in Japan...next week Dear Son will go to the home and join Okaasan in the Day Service room, hoping to give her a positive feeling about it. At the last hospital she was in, September to December - the daily physical training session was something she enjoyed and we want that for her again.
Very disappointing. Maybe the staff were busy with the crisis about the norovirus outbreak etc, and they had my phone number wrong...but...but...
So. Still hoping that we have made a good decision about this place...