Issue 41 – Just Like Home

“Watch your step!,” Charlie warned Hazel, who was trying her best to make her way out of the vehicle despite the pain she was in and the frozen ground beneath her. “There you are love, you’re doing great!” Charlie nervously supported Hazel the way the therapist had shown them in the hospital as she made very slow and careful steps into her wheelchair. “I’m glad this is a temporary thing,” Hazel sighed as she tried her best to position herself in the chair so there wasn’t too much pressure on her healing ribs. Once he was satisfied Hazel was as comfortable as she could be, they made their way into the building.

“Hello Mr. and Mrs. Stewart! Welcome!,” the building manager greeted the couple with a smile as they entered into the grand foyer. The entrance was clean and bright with lots of windows and seating areas. Residents were busy chatting with one another or other visitors, but all made friendly acknowledgement of their new neighbours, Charlie and Hazel.

“Now I don’t want to keep you for too long, as I can imagine you just want to get up to your room having been just discharged from the hospital, Hazel,” the building manager led them to the elevator and pressed the up button. “You may have to wait a little while, as it is now noon and a lot of our residents will be using the elevator to make their way down to the dining room for lunch, but it shouldn’t be too long.” Hazel grimaced, but only because she was getting quite sore.

Within a few minutes, the doors opened and a crowd of residents entered into the foyer. “I really need to lie down I think,” Hazel said with worry as Charlie assisted her into the elevator. “I don’t know how I’m going to manage. I’m in so much pain and have to get the sheets on the bed, and stuff unpacked. This is all so stressful.” The building manager smiled again. “Like I told Charlie, all you have to worry about is getting better right now Hazel. We’ve been working very hard with your family over the past two weeks, and I hope our efforts will make you feel more at ease.”

The elevator opened and the three of them made their way down the hall. Hazel recognized their suite right away; for right there, affixed ever so carefully to the new door was the door knocker from their house. “When did this happen?” Charlie and the building manager exchanged knowing looks and a bit of a giggle. “I’ll let you do the honours Charlie,” she said as she handed him the key to the unit. “Why thank you,” he winked and opened the door.

Inside, Hazel let out a gasp. Absolutely everything was ready for them. Their living room furniture was now featured prominently in their sitting area, and the dining room table was minus its leaves so that it fit nicely in the eating area to the left. Pictures of her grandchildren and great grandchildren hung in the hall, and her beloved figurines were all completely intact in her antique cabinet in the corner of the main room. “I don’t understand,” Hazel said in awe. Charlie chuckled, “The kids and I have been pretty busy in here while you were enjoying your stay at Hotel Hospital.” “You have a lovely family,” the building manager said gently. “I’m going to let you get settled in here, but we will catch up for orientation a little later.”

Charlie helped Hazel into the bedroom, which looked almost exactly like the one at home. Hazel was astonished that the full bedroom set fit. Charlie had even hung the curtains over the window. It was just…perfect. Very carefully, she wiggled herself into bed with Charlie’s assistance. “I wasn’t expecting all this. I really wasn’t.” Charlie kissed her forehead gently. “I vowed to always take care of you. And I always will.” Hazel let those words fill her with warmth as she closed her eyes to rest.

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Move-ins can be stressful times, especially when a loved one is dealing with health issues. Family members can work with building management to coordinate their efforts to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible – but it takes some effort on everyone’s part. Have you experienced a move-in? What was that like? We’d love to hear about your experiences – from residents, family members and even housing providers. What works? What doesn’t?

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