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Friday, July 26, 2013

Wildflower Court

We were talking with our daughter Shana this morning about Wildflower Court compared to Park West. She said the atmosphere, physical condition and staffing are much better: like going from a one star hotel to a three or four star hotel.

Mike has a private room (all rooms are private), the whole facility is very quiet, and the staff has time to give residents immediate attention.  For instance, within minutes of telling Mike's aide that he would like a whiteboard installed in his room, a maintenance person arrived and installed a whiteboard provided by the facility.  At Park West, Shana had to purchase the whiteboard, and it took three days for maintenance to install it.  In addition, at Park West when Mike would ring his call button, he would be checked on by staff immediately, but they would sometimes tell him they were busy, and would have to come back later.  At Wildflower Court, staff responds and helps immediately. Furthermore, from his bed he has a lovely view of a hillside out his window (much better than looking up at a concrete retaining wall and the bumpers of cars in the parking lot!).

Mike has no appetite and has lost a lot of weight. We were with him when the dietician was asking him about his diet. It sounds as though it is only milk, Ensure, mashed potatoes, and gravy. The dietician said they also make milkshakes with Ensure and ice cream. Shana visited Thursday during lunch and fed him; he only ate about 4 or 5 bites of mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas mixed together, and drank about 6 ounces of V-8.

Shana suggested that if people visit him at mealtime, he should be encouraged and assisted in eating. It is important that he be in at least a semi-seated position so he doesn't aspirate his food. He is having trouble chewing and swallowing. If you can bring him something soft and delicious when you visit, he might be tempted to eat more.

In terms of physical fitness, Mike can walk farther than when Shana last saw him at the beginning of June in Seattle.  Thursday he walked from one end of the physical therapy room to the other three times using a walker and assisted by the physical therapist. 

In conclusion, Mike is very happy to be home but we need to fatten him up. 

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