Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Engineer and the New Device

I mentioned in my previous post that at the skilled nursing home where we've been forced to place my father, there is a very cool device they use for transferring him from wheelchair to bed and from bed to bathroom. More news on that today:

Dad on the Sara 3000 with his CNA Thad doing the driving.

Enter the Sara 3000 lift. Produced by ArjoHuntleigh, a company founded in Sweden, it is the Volvo of chair lifts. Battery-powered, safe and very cool.

My father, the engineer, is not clear in his mind about much these days. But put him on the Sara 3000 and he's happy and calm as he watches the device operate. At the skilled nursing center we know he is safe and well cared for. Now we also know the Sara 3000 has a certain fascination for this mechanically minded person.

He has moments when he sleeps and awakens speaking about nothing that makes sense. "Did you fly here in the Cessna?" (We don't have a Cessna, but he must be dreaming about the years he belonged to the flying club at Moffet Field.) "Is your mother in the garden?" That's an understandable one, since he's lived with Mom and her garden for 65 years, this month.

Mom and Dad at a sing-along on this, his first week in skilled nursing care.

But there are moments of clarity: "The chow here is really good," he said yesterday. And at one point he asked if we had gotten references for the place. "Did Kimmy think this was a good idea?" he asked, referring to my practical-minded sister and added: "Now there's a conservative for you."

So we are plodding along with a father who is dwindling. I am trying to remember how lucky we are that he saved his money so he could afford to stay at the Ritz of nursing homes where the mother of one of Silicon Valley's most famous billionaire inventors is also staying.

And Dad still has a sweetness, when he isn't yelling at the nurses and telling them to get out of his house.

To me, late yesterday: "Oh you're all fixed up. You must be going somewhere." I was. I came to see him.

And to Mom, just a few minutes later, he said something that made her smile. "Faye you look gorgeous." He can barely form the words. His brain is failing him and his hands and eyes are so weak it is hard for him to eat. But he can take a minute from his misery to tell his wife she's gorgeous.

And he loves the Sara 3000. So it's not all bad out here in the land of elder care. I'm trying to stay optimistic.

About ArjoHuntleigh and the Sara 3000

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Lena said...

I'm glad you finally got Pa in a good nursing home and that he is doing okay there.
I noticed the Mary Cat cake is up too, cool!
See you in December!

Robin Chapman said...

Dad is better today too, and Faye is being a trooper, visiting him and staying positive. We are all doing the best we can for our family patriarch.