Initial Launch of Colonel's Log
Per the U.S. National Archives, a Captain’s Log is a listing of the daily activities of a U.S. Navy ship; in Star Trek, it was also used to record the general thoughts and reflections of the Captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise. I’m not a Navy Captain, but am the Air Force equivalent, so I thought I’d use this vehicle to record my observations and reflections as they relate to my position as the owner of Assisted Living Locators – Nashville. I’ll be updating this blog with regular entries, and as new observations hit me. I hope you enjoy it, and perhaps learn something new about the world of senior living.
Memorial Day Weekend
One week ago today was Memorial Day, the day the U.S. honors its fallen military members. In my youth, Memorial Day weekend was the day my family put flowers on the graves of relatives. To be honest, however, for me it mostly signified the end of the school year and the beginning of lazy Summers. This year was different. In fact, I had a very busy and impactful Memorial Day weekend.
That Saturday my daughter and I helped move my first placement out of her apartment at Brookdale Green Hills Cumberland so she could move closer to her daughter out of state. Her dementia had progressed to the point where her daughter understandably wanted her closer to her. It was sort of a closing of the loop experience, as many months ago I donned “haz mat gear” and helped Ms. C move into the Brookdale community during the height of the pandemic.
This time I didn’t have to wear special gear, but did have to conjure up all the mechanical skills I had to ensure all of the necessary equipment was able to be moved – when I say I’ll do most anything to help my clients, I do mean it!
Helping Ms. C was especially significant on this weekend as she was a military spouse whose husband had served in the Air Force. Like my family she had been forced to move when the mission required, and I’m sure she did so with the same grace and patience she still possessed. When Ms. C moved into Brookdale Green Hills Cumberland, her daughter and I were concerned she might have to move into the memory care wing due to her dementia. Thankfully, she wasn’t a wandering risk or disruptive, so the fantastic staff at Brookdale was able to help her remain, and thrive, in the main assisted living area. What many people don’t realize is a diagnosis of dementia does not automatically lead to placement in memory care. In my experience, most communities want to keep their residents with memory issues in a traditional assisted living environment for as long as it is safe to do so. Being around high-functioning seniors can improve the quality of life and slow the progression of their disease for many seniors with dementia.
After we were done helping Ms. C, I rushed to the Westhaven Kroger in Franklin for a more traditional Memorial Day event: handing out poppies with another veteran from American Legion Post 22. While we chatted with the customers and explained how the poppies memorialize our fallen servicemen and women, we heard stories from fellow veterans and their spouses and children. I even spoke to a woman whose granddaughter had recently graduated at the top of her class from the Air Force Academy, and who met one of my friends who is now a General and a top leader at the Academy. While we spoke, I could feel the woman’s pride welling up inside of her, similar to what we saw as we spoke to those discussing their veteran experience. It reminded me of how much we are connected with each other, and how good it feels when we identify and embrace those connections.
Five Points, Franklin, Tennessee
On Memorial Day itself, my friend Tim DeBuse and I attended the Franklin Memorial Day ceremony in historic downtown Franklin. As always, I was simply blown away by the community support for our veterans and military members; there were several hundred in attendance. The speakers focused on the true meaning of Memorial Day, how it’s not about mattress sales and barbecues, but how we should remember those who have fallen and, perhaps more importantly, those left behind. To close out the All-American weekend, Tim and I put up a flagpole in my yard. I guess when you’ve got that patriotic momentum, you need to ride it to the end!
My final thoughts on Memorial Day go back to where I started, talking about how my family honored the past by decorating the graves of our relatives. This year unfortunately one of those graves was that of my Mother, who died two years ago.
My brother Kevin and my Dad headed up to his hometown of Laurel to attend the Memorial Day service and visit Mom. Kevin does a great deal of the grunt work in taking care of Dad, and I am so grateful of how he honors our parents with his work. My Dad is simply an amazing man. At 85 years old, even after losing his lifelong partner, he is still positive and active. As a matter of fact, he still works -more on that in a future blog. Dad is still the consummate salesman; here he is selling his friend book at the Laurel VFW.
My parents set the example of how to honor our elder relatives and those who came before us. They spread joy, respect, and positivity while getting things done. Losing my Mom inspired me to start Assisted Living Locators -Nashville. How my Mom and Dad lived their lives is directly related to how I try to conduct myself as the owner of this business. I strive to honor them every day as we serve our clients by helping them find the best senior living option for their individual situations.