Checking Things Out

This morning, I had to drop my car off for its 90K service. Whenever I take my car to the shop, which is just under 2 miles away, Cabana and I walk back home. It's much easier than trying to coordinate with someone for a ride or wait around for their shuttle service. It's not a very pretty route, though, and we have to walk along a freeway overpass. The cars race by us and under us, but Cabana doesn't seem to mind the traffic at all.

Today, with just a slight detour, we walked past the Alzheimer's facility where we might volunteer. I just wanted to see the facility up close and give Cabana a chance to sniff around the grounds, so that if we come back to work there, she'll be a bit familiar and hopefully, a little less excitable.

The building and grounds, pictured above, are beautiful. I can tell this is a top-of-the-line facility. When we were walking by, there was a big truck out front, delivering tons of brand new plastic-wrapped furniture for their common area. Everything looked really gorgeous.

I could see the reception desk through the glass front doors. Off to the side, there was a dog bed with a Basset hound sleeping there. The therapy dog mentor had told me that there was a resident Basset hound there and had asked me if Cabana was dog-friendly. I said, oh yes, she'll probably want to play with the Basset hound. But it looks like this Basset is an old-timer (but maybe that's how all Basset hounds look?), which is probably best for our situation, since Cabana will be respectful of his likely lack of desire to frolic.

Thank you for your input on my Tuesday Topic yesterday. It was a pretty mixed bag, no consensus! But that's okay, it mirrored exactly how I feel, too. There are benefits to both. I appreciated readers sharing about their own relatives who have struggled with Alzheimer's--even though I have yet to meet the residents, it gave them a face and a context. It personalized the idea of them for me, reminding me that these people are someone's mother or aunt or brother or grandfather.

I haven't made a decision yet on whether to do the school or the Alzheimer's residence. I wish I could do both, but I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. The mentor is going to call me later this week and let me know if the school needs another reading dog team there. If not, then the decision will be made for me. We'll wait and see.

Kari in WeHo  – (February 2, 2011 at 1:40 PM)  

That place looks beautiful and like a great place to visit with Cabana :)


Lisa, Ellie and Hosta  – (February 2, 2011 at 4:35 PM)  

That looks like a wonderful facility. Runza's partner lived in an memory care place for his last 6 months. It was the highlight of his day when Runza would come by for a visit - as well as all the other residents. One woman would fight the nurses, but, if Runza came in, she would just coo to him and would be so appeasing for anything the nurses needed to do. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself. I had been so disappointed Runza had to be retired so early do to his partner's health, but seeing the difference he made not only in his partner's day, but also the lives of all the other Alzheimer's patients there was so heartwarming.

The Thundering Herd  – (February 5, 2011 at 7:01 AM)  

Either choice you make will be very rewarding, but we do a nursing home with Cheoah. We started because my father has a disease progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) which has lots of similarities to Parkinson's and includes dementia like Alzheimer's. The home encourages family pets to visit patients because of their soothing impact - and to encourage memory.

To our surprise, the other residents flocked to Cheoah and we ended up doing regular rounds when we visit my dad. One lady comes up every time beaming. Each time, she has totally forgotten the last visit, but it doesn't matter because of the happiness it brings.

Like I said, either way will be rewarding, but thought I would share part of our experience.

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