Monday, March 10, 2014

My Dad’s First Excursion Out of Assisted Living

When I was a kid growing up in the city of Chicago, we lived next door to a parking lot of a Kentucky Fried Chicken (as it was still called back then). As such, our back yard was visible from afar.

My dad loved gardening and had one of the nicest small city gardens back then. When his roses or wisteria were in full bloom, his garden always attracted admirers who would come over and view it from the parking lot.

And so we thought it was appropriate that his first trip outside of his new home in assisted living be a visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Garden is having an orchid exhibit, which is a great floral show in this extended winter.

As we went to pick him up yesterday, I worried, just a bit, about how my dad would do leaving the facility where he has settled in nicely. Would it trigger thoughts that he wants to go home? Would he perseverate over wondering what ever happened to his wallet and credit cards?

I called my dad an hour ahead of the time we would pick him up. But when we got there he proclaimed that it was “a big surprise” that we were there.

He was excited to go with us, though.

And when we got there we saw a very large display of orchids.

My dad had a nice time. And it is nice that Kai also enjoys going to the Botanic Garden. The two took their time looking at all of the plants in the greenhouses.

After that, we went out to lunch. And then it was time to drop Kai off at his Sunday physical fitness group.

My wife and I took my dad back to the assisted living facility. My worries had been for naught. Everything went very smoothly the entire day.

I don’t know how much he will remember of the day. I’m guessing that he forgot most of it even before we took him back.

But that doesn’t change that he had a nice day. And that we had a day that we will remember for a long time.


  1. Everything seems to be going well. It is so nice that your dad likes his new place. Kai is also learning a valuable of properly placed loyalty. He will, one day, treat you well...because of how he is seeing how well you treat your father.

    1. I suppose that Kai is learning that lesson, as children tend to learn the most from their parents. I just like that he is always respectful to his grandparents.


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