Archive for December 1st, 2007

Not-So-Fresh Start in a New Personal Care Home

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

 December Day in Georgia

Today I took my DS (dear son) to his new personal care home in Douglasville, Georgia. This one was strikingly different from the others we have visited over the last few months. This one is a home of newer construction in a subdivision of homes advertised at 170K or so. The inside of the home seemed light and spacious, not dark and cramped, especially since the only occupants are the owner, a young male resident and the owner’s mother, who is visiting from Florida. The house has four bedrooms so DS gets his own room. The room seemed bright with a high ceiling, a spacious closet, a full-sized bed. This home had no smell of cigarette smoke, because no one living here smokes. All the other personal care homes we visited allowed their residents to smoke outdoors, but the problem is they carry the cigarette stench on their persons when they come indoors. I was excited for DS. We only located this home four days before he had to move. I thought, “At last, I don’t have to feel guilty for making him live in a PCH. This place is one in a million.”

Then, of course, after we arrived, reality came crashing down. We had only seen the home during a quick nighttime visit. During the day when we were moving DS and his stuff in, the carpet stains became more obvious. The dresser drawers were nearly all broken, falling off track nearly every time you open them unless extreme care is given. The room was bright all right. Really almost too bright. No blinds to be seen behind the sheer curtains and rather hot from the afternoon sun shining in west windows. This room will really bake in the summer. When the owner, whom I will call CA, told us to remove our shoes before stepping on the carpet during our evening visit, I thought it was because she did not want outdoor soil from our shoes on her carpet. I realized today it was because her two little mop-haired dogs pee all over the hard floors, so she does not want pee tracked on the carpet. She makes liberal use of baby gates to keep the dogs out of the carpeted rooms (living room and upstairs). The carpets still look very stained everywhere.

So the guilt returned full-force. With DS’s obsession with cleanliness, this may be really hard on him. I remember a couple months ago he was having delusions about urine and feces being on surfaces that he could not avoid touching. Now this house has dog urine all over… at least in the foyer, kitchen, dining room, family room area, and it is no delusion. Also I started thinking the bedroom with no blinds is not going to do his paranoia about being watched any good. I felt like calling CA all evening to ask her if she could throw some blankets over the curtain rods. I wanted to call and ask if I could bring a rug shampooer and clean the carpet in DS’s room and the stairs. Then I thought, “Let’s try not to offend this woman on the very first day.” She is probably having a hard enough time with my son. DS also suffered another disappointment today. When we were going over his medications we noticed the doctor had doubled one of them, something the previous PCH and I had not caught before on the bottle label. I called the pharmacy to be sure it was no mistake. Before I left he was being cranky about no soap in the bathroom, which  CA supplied. I made sure the stained pillowcase was also replaced. DS refused to sit on the bed because he was sure the bed spread was filthy.

Well, it is bedtime and no phone calls from DS or CA yet. I hope they are getting along all right.