Not All Who Wander Need Memory Care

I thought I’d share a sweet thing that happened yesterday.

A man named John lives at the Assisted Living where my mom lives. He always wears khaki pants and a golf shirt with tennis shoes. He has lovely grey hair that’s always groomed nicely. He also has dementia. I’d been told he is moving soon to a smaller group home. The AL says John has started to “wander” a bit, and they were saying he has to go to memory care. I’m not sure that what he’s doing is wandering, neither is his family. They don’t believe he is an “elopement risk.”

John likes to walk up and down the sidewalk outside. His family thinks it because it’s springtime and the weather is beautiful! The sidewalk is sunny and warm. It’s the only place to enjoy the sun! The garden spot the AL wants him to go when he goes outside is all shade. John has never left the sidewalk directly in front of the Assisted Living.

I’m glad his family has decided to move him to a group home with a sunny backyard instead of to a more restrictive memory care unit.

Back to yesterday…

John was walking on the sidewalk. Back and forth. Enjoying the sunshine and greeting everyone who arrived. He waved goodbye to everyone who left and wished them a nice day.

I knew a staff member was going to come tell him he had to go back inside. They are sometimes not very patient with him.

John always smiles at me when I arrive. He’s very sweet. He pointed out the flowers blooming along the sidewalk. The “Garden Area” in back has no flowers. Just a concrete porch with patio furniture. All in the shade. (Can you see why he’d rather be out front on the sidewalk? Sunshine. Warmth. Flowers. And people to greet.)

I wanted to gently get him back inside before staff made him go in.

I spoke with him about the flowers and walked with him a bit. Up and down the sidewalk. Back and forth we walked. In the warm sunshine. Then I showed him pictures of my wildflowers. As you know, it’s hard to see pictures on a cellphone in the sunshine. He tried to see them. Then he said, “let’s go inside where I can see the pictures.”

Mission accomplished.

Here are some of the pictures I showed John. I have a couple dozen pictures on my phone. We stood inside and looked at pictures. Then he wanted me to show them to other residents and staff. He is very social.

I will miss seeing him when I pull up today. He moved to a more appropriate and less restrictive placement yesterday afternoon. I wish him well.

4 thoughts on “Not All Who Wander Need Memory Care

  1. God bless your kindness to John and may he be blessed with contentment in his new home. My sweet mom has now been in her new abode in assisted living memory care for two months. One of my favorite things about having her there is getting to know some of the other incredibly sweet residents. I love hearing their stories of days gone by.

    Liked by 1 person

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