Quality adult day care hits a homerun

Blog posts come in all shapes and sizes … sometimes they are personal reflections or ruminations on various topics … at other times, they tell a story, often to demonstrate a key point … at other times, they express heartfelt appreciation for how someone has been helped … as in this recent example:

To the staff of Diakon Adult Day Services at Ravenwood:

I wanted to send you a thank you on behalf of my family for the wonderful care you provide for my father, Robert “Bob” Wilson. I wonder if you know just how much the work you do is valued and how important it is to so many? Daily you have a positive impact on so many lives.

You never knew my father the way I did. Since his stroke, a little more than four years ago, he has been different. In addition to leaving him physically challenged, the stroke, even more cruelly, left him with intellectual frailties as well. I’m including these photos so you can see the man I know as Dad.

Jenn Wilson dad photos

Originally it was difficult to accept that he was so different now. I remember quite clearly the day my mom said that Dad was going to start attending an adult day care service program at Ravenwood several times a week, so that she could have a break and my dad could have some socializing. When I saw him next, my father showed me the craft he had made that first day. It was a painting, I think, with some additional stickers and sparkly confetti. Not bad for a man with one good arm, he jested, even though he had help with some of the stickers, he said. He was so proud of his work and I ‘ooohed’ and ‘aaahed’ and told him how wonderful it was, and Mom put his craft up on the refrigerator.

Driving home that night, I cried remembering how he used to be before the stroke. A kind, strong and extremely intelligent man who ran a successful law firm and provided a good life for himself and my mother. And now he was going to adult day services and making crafts with stickers and sparkly confetti. This seemed so cruel, I thought, the entire process of aging and the lasting results of illness and what it does to your loved ones.

My dad has been attending Diakon Adult Day Services at Ravenwood for a few years now. As time has progressed, he has brought home many more crafts. I recall a really cool Halloween spider made from a cute tiny pumpkin and black pipe cleaners from last year. It sat on the TV stand until the poor little thing rotted. And even now there is a very good imitation of a watermelon slice dad painted recently hanging from the fence on their little patio.

But I think it’s important that you know that every time I visit and ask him about his day his face lights up talking about the crafts, or bingo, or singing, or one of the wonderful outings you take him on. In fact, tomorrow [program staff] are taking him to see a ball game at Municipal Stadium and he is very excited and happy about this; he talked about it all weekend long.

I have never met any of you, but over the last few years I have heard about you and have come to know you through my Dad. You are the caring people who help him with crafts, or take him to the bathroom or help him with his lunch. There are so many things that you do every day there for him that you probably think nothing about, but that mean so much to him and to us, his family.

You are the people who bring him joy and happiness. Your work is tremendously important and extremely meaningful and we appreciate you very much … Know that we are grateful for each of you, and sincerely thank you all for your kindness to my Dad.

—Jennifer Wilson

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