A bunch of us got together at the North Dakota Veteran's Home in Lisbon. There were twelve of us Residents. Our Activities person asked us what would make it "Truly a Home" away from our home. We came up with lots of ideas and we are going to tell you our story.
"There is no place like home". Dorothy from the "Wizard of Oz" kept repeating that when she was in Oz. That's how we feel. We want to be in our own homes but at this time in our lives we are unable to. We need a little more care. Some of us can't hear the way we used to. Some of us can't see the way we used to. Some of us can't remember like we used to. Maybe we have medication we need to take. Our bodies don't work like they used to. We may be in a wheelchair or use a walker or constantly on oxygen. So we live here.
Living here is different than home but the same. For those of us who need extra help, there are 4 Households that house 13 people each. Each household has their own dining room, living room and 13 bedrooms with their own bathrooms. Like our own home, we can have some of our own stuff in our rooms, like our recliners, our pictures, our own clothes, our trinkets, family items and our memories. If we need some quiet time to ourselves, we can go to our individual rooms where we can have some private time, as they are private rooms. If we are lonesome, we can be in the living room with others.
All of our meals are made for us. We get called by the helpers when it's time to eat and we all join in. If something was prepared that we don't care for, we can ask for something else. As kids, some of us used to have to clean our plates but here we eat what we want. Just like at home, some cook better than others. But as long as there is desert, it's all good!
We have activities in our household, our neighbor households and in a big room called Town Hall. We play Bingo, Horse Races, listen to programs like music or informative talks, and so many other things go on each month.
The best part of our homes are the Resident Living Assistants. They are the nursing assistants that make us a family. They care for us and take care of us. They bring laughter and friendship into our lives on a daily basis. They share their lives with us and we share our memories with them. They accept us as we are and know that not every day will be easy for us but they do what they can to help. Some know just how to comfort us. They get to know us and know how we like things.
As Residents, we also look out for each other. One of us may be the hearing for the hard of hearing or the eyes for those of us who can't see the way we want. If we have forgotten which way we go, one of our "family members" will point out the way or give us reminders. "Reaching out to others" as one of us said.
That is how we make a home away from home, being kind, respectful and living the Golden Rule...."Treat others the way we want to be treated." Pretty simple.