12 September 2010
Family Day At Uncle Al's New Home
The nursing home set up some tents and tables outside, our table was in the hot sun. We arrived and I saw Uncle Al in the sun. There was no way Al, my mother or my MIL could sit in the sun so I asked a nurse where we could sit inside, out of the sun.
Inside, the nurses were very nice, directing us to the dining room. On the way to the dining room, a young girl who looked like she worked in the kitchen told us we had to go outside. She was annoying me. We told her that the nurses gave us permission to sit in the big room... of course we ignored the young girl; we set up in the dining room where it was cooler and out of the sun.
Through observation, the sun is really bad for dementia folks. I'm surprised the nursing home didn't take this into consideration when setting up seating outside in the open sun. I've seen my mom turn catatonic from sitting in the sun for a short time. Maryann told me that Uncle Al was rushed to the hospital one day a few weeks ago because he was out in the sun. He had heat stroke.
Family Day was a fun day. Inevitably, Uncle Al has declined. He struggled to come alive when he saw all of us. We had brief moments of lucidity where he appeared present, giving a Mona Lisa type smile.
Uncle Al even made a comment, "The Holiday's are coming, we can be together." By the end of our visit, Uncle Al was done, he was exhausted.