"There are many parallels between dilemmas for families with young children and those with parents dealing with dementia. Among those is the struggle with finding care when we are unable to provide it. I remember the stress of finding the right care for my little daughters in much the way I felt concern about finding the right place for Dad.
We wanted so badly to find a place where he would be seen not only for his dementia behaviors, but for the incredible human who had lived a rich life, a man who had given so generously to his esteemed profession, and to community, church, friends, and family. This is a very understandably difficult search that had Dad in less than satisfactory stays in more than one home, but was answered beautifully by our final months with Dad at Roseleaf Gardens.
In assisted living and memory care, it would be easy and understandable for staff members to treat residents with ambivalence and to remain interpersonally disconnected. After all, most residents won't remember conversations in an hour, and many have significant behavioral difficulties, certainly struggle with communication, and are likely to be in the final years, maybe days, of their lives. Why get attached?
At Roseleaf, I found that you, as staff, sparkled when you spoke about Dad. I saw that you understand that the human emotions and need for connection remain long after the ability to communicate is lost. I saw more than patience--it was true enjoyment of your work and of this man, my father, who was so much more than his dementia. I saw respect for and interest in Dad. I saw people who could have been annoyed at his repeated questions, at the way he said hello EVERY time you walked by, or at the way he hovered around certain staff members (as we know, this was usually the young ladies :-) ), but instead of annoyance there was playfulness and upbeat kindness.
When Dad was super messy after I took him to the doctor, I saw his caregiver sweetly smile, and immediately take him to the shower, and get his clothes in the laundry. I saw activities in which Dad and other residents were sought out and engaged with smiling, fun leaders. I saw you at the front desk welcome me and speak about how happy Dean would be to see me. I saw respectful laughter at the seeming absurdity of some of the situations you face. (Dementia isn't all sadness.) I saw people who walked the walk of love, compassion, patience, joy, fun, and empathy.
In his final months he felt loved and loving there. And THAT is what we pray for when it's time to make the decision to place our parents in a "facility". I want to express gratitude to you from myself, from all of our family, and from Dean. I hope you will share with staff and with David and Florie. If this feedback is helpful for others considering Roseleaf in their difficult moment, please feel free to use these words publicly, or to have them call or email me as a reference. Blessed as we were to have him for 93 years, I will miss the enthusiastic smile from Dad every time I saw him. I'll miss the conversation and company. And I'll miss our friends at Roseleaf who helped make these last months a gift."
Scott L. - Magalia, CA.
"Roseleaf is a well-organized clean, safe and inviting environment, but what set it apart for us is the staff's positive attitude, their team approach and cooperation, and the respect they show for everyone. Roseleaf listened to our mom's story and committed to accommodating her changing needs with professionalism and kindness. They supported us in making this very difficult transition and now that she has settled in, we feel relieved that Roseleaf is the best place for mom."
Kathy C. - Oroville, CA
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