The man is bent so much he seems to have shrunk by several inches this month. His head hangs low, I doubt it is to avoid a fall; it takes too much effort to hold his head up. “You’re Phyllis,” he said, surprised one day this week when he lifted his head to look at me. “You’re cute,” he added. On another visit, he said, “You’ve gotten so tall.” I explained I was standing up straight. “Stand up with me,” I said, “Or I can stoop to be equal to you,” I offered. “Stoop down and walk,” he answered solemnly.
I am generally pleased with the new memory care unit; my husband wanders around, but generally there is someone near him with whom he is willing to interact. When there are lax times during which sufficient caregivers are not present, the ratio is soon rectified. Two new admissions bring the population to twelve of its eventual seventeen. Unfortunately there are now several residents of the unit who are wheelchair-bound and sleep most of the day. Some remain for the most part in their rooms, others sleep in the comfortable leather recliners in the main room; the unit never feels crowded, but it is not lively. Two women often spend their time in the Day Club, but Bob does not.Bob is always glad to see me, but I am no longer as important to his life as I once was. He recognizes me, calls me by name and tells me what he needs. He loves back rubs and reciprocates too. Often, while I am visiting, he falls asleep next to me while sitting in his chair. He is relaxed and content which makes me feel like Marlo Thomas.