A place where I can share interesting ideas and maybe get a few things off my chest


Mother recently started going to Adult Daycare at the Tarpon Springs campus of the Neighborly Care Network.

I was worried that she would be insulted by the very large “Adult Day Care” sign in the front of the building, but I just don’t think she makes any kind of connection with it being like day care for children. Even though I don’t believe she would be able to live alone again, she is still capable of staying at home by herself during the day, so her attendance is more like an enrichment program for her.

The program is 6.5 hours per day, Monday through Friday, but Mother just attends on Wednesdays. I drive her there to arrive around 10 a.m., and the van brings her home around 3:30 or 4:00, depending on which van trip she is on that afternoon. The van could pick her up in the morning, too, but we would have to have her ready by 8:00 a.m., and she doesn’t really want to be gone from the house that long. When we first moved here and looked into this program, she was very reluctant to go, much as she was with the Take Five Club in Kerrville. After I started working closer to full-time hours, I think she was getting more bored and lonely, and so was more open to the idea. Plus, I insisted. The day before her first day there, she told me that since it looked like it was going to rain the next day, she…and I interrupted her to finish the sentence that she would be going anyway, because in Tampa, it could very well rain every day from June through November. I think she stuck her tongue out at me.

Her first Wednesday afternoon, one of the activities was playing Bingo, and she won a teddy bear. She set it on the couch, and when Steve got home, she very proudly showed him her Bingo prize. He asked her what she had named it, and she said she hadn’t, but later told us that she had decided to name it Honey Bear.

The following week, she came home with a pastel-colored Beanie Baby rooster. You can see him in the photo above, leaning against the table lamp. His name is Cock-A-DOODLE-Do (emphasis on the “DOODLE” – go ahead – say it out loud). The third week – no Bingo, so no Bingo prize. But the fourth week – another teddy bear! This one is Sugar Bear, and s/he sits with Honey on the end of the couch Mother sits/lies on to watch TV during the day. Add in the two teddy bears that my niece has sent with floral arrangements for Mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day, and we now have a total of five stuffed friends hanging out in the living room, helping Mom watch Bret Maverick and Roy Rogers outsmart the bad guys on a daily basis.

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