Arla seems to have fully recovered from her illness a few weeks ago. We are still not sure exactly what was going on, but she was one sick, weak lady. She is back doing her therapies, back to brightening a room with her smiles, and trying to regain the strength she lost while ill.
Please pray that she continues to make strides in her strengthening. As the family has understood for quite a long time now, Arla will remain in skilled nursing for some time. We are coming up on 5 months since the stroke. Improvement in mobility and speech can continue to happen, but we do not expect huge gains to occur quickly.
Harold is now faced with the reality that Arla will probably not be staying in the rehab section of Vancrest much longer. The rehab area is really an area for short term stays for residents needing to regain balance or mobility after surgery, trauma, or illness. Arla is becoming a long-term resident. Eventually, she will need to be moved to another wing of the facility. Such a move must be coordinated carefully, though. Different aides and nursing staff work in other areas of Vancrest. These personnel must be trained by the therapists to be able to move Arla in and out of bed. When Arla first arrived at Vancrest, it was several weeks before any aides got her from bed to chair without the use of a hoyer lift. Even now, personnel use the hoyer lift with Arla every day to place her on a commode in the morning. However, the hoyer takes up space and time to use. Therefore, being able to get Arla from bed to chair without it is important.
Arla is still in F3, but a move will happen eventually. The staff at Vancrest are coordinating and training personnel to be sure everyone knows how to meet Arla’s needs in the new area where she will go. This pending move has Harold very worried and ill at ease. Currently, Arla has a private room. She will not have that in the new area. Harold is not looking forward to this. If you are not aware, Harold is with Arla from 9 a.m. to at least 8 p.m. most days. Also, rehab in a skilled nursing facility can be different than the other areas of the facility. (The stigma attached to skilled nursing rehab will be the subject for another blog). The residents are often short-term with mobility problems; the dining room is small; and the number of residents is small. Harold is not looking forward to having Arla in the area of Vancrest where the needs of the residents are broad. To put it nicely, he is uneasy about spending time with Arla in an area with a more general nursing home population. And, we hate to say it, but anything people say to him about their nursing home experiences with their loved ones does not help. (Please don’t tell him how awful it will be to eat in the big cafeteria or how much you hated visiting a relative). He is just not comfortable with the fact that Arla cannot stay in rehab indefinitely because he is not comfortable with not being with her all day. Harold needs positive encouragement. He holds tight to the negative and ponders the unknown. Simple tasks can become overwhelming for him on some days. The less negative ideas that are sent his way, the better.
And when Arla gets moved (no, we have no idea when that might happen), we will let our blog readers know.