Because Grandpa has Parkinson’s, and limited mobility, he cannot transfer from a wheelchair, walker or bed without help. When he needs to use the washroom, take a shower, take a nap, get up from a nap or get anything beyond his reach, we have to help him. For all intensive purposes, we are Grandpa’s legs (and sometimes his hands).

When he struggles to stand up, it takes him a few seconds to find his center of gravity. If he’s having a “bad day” (bad day meaning lack of strength), helping him up can be like trying to lift a 50-pound bag of sugar off the table with your pinkie. Because Parkinson’s medicines wear off after a few hours, they have to be taken three times a day. Still, by 5:00 p.m., it seems like Grandpa has accumulated enough dopamine to fire-off a small rocket and he fairly bounces up to his walker from a sitting position. Afternoons are a good time for him to work out on his exercise equipment or take a few laps around the house with his walker.

Since being liberated from the nursing home, the ratio of personal care has risen in Grandpa’s favor from 6 to 1 (the six in our family to Grandpa’s one). How true the saying “many hands make light the work!” In nursing homes, the industry norm 15 to 1 (15 residents to one CNA!). Wow, I can’t fathom being in charge of 15 seniors at one time. Is it really possible to call that care?

Talk about adapting. It isn’t the nursing home staff who does the adapting. Once you walk (or are pushed) through those doors, you must adapt to the nursing home’s policies and the way their staff does things – like it or not.

Yes, since Grandpa came home, he is definitely upwardly mobile.