I’d like to relate how I selected Saint Joseph’s Senior Home for my wife Geneva. She contracted Alzheimer’s, ALZ, a disease in 2016 when she was 79 years old. Things were near “normal” for the remainder of that year, but events changed pretty dramatically in 2017. She began to do things that were unusual and even dangerous, like turning on the gas stove, continuously going up and down the thirteen stairs from the kitchen to the bedroom, sometimes carrying the queen size bed comforter. At one point, she was struck with a stage of ALZ called “wandering”, and she indeed “wandered” about four miles from the house and the NYPD found her walking two towns away. God Bless the police who found her after an hour of very tense waiting. Thank God that she did not get on a bus or train or was accosted by a stranger. At that point, professional help was hired, first for several hours per day then later for the full day and even thru the night. Even with the hired help who did not attend to my wife’s personal needs, I was blessed with having a nearby daughter in law who handled those needs as well as others necessary to a lady. However, things depreciated to the point that it was decided to locate my wife into a nursing home.
One was found on Staten Island that had seemingly good grades and Geneva was placed there in March 2018. She was there for about three months when she tripped on a chair and cracked a femur and was rushed to the hospital for surgery which consisted of placing surgical screws to reinforce the breaks. From the hospital, she was transferred to a rehabilitation home for about one month. In June 2018 it was decided to get her out of the rehab place because in my opinion she was kept sleeping in a wheelchair for hours on end as like almost all the other patients. Something like the staff was too busy to do their jobs. Not treated well there at all. I truly feel that’s where God stepped in again to help me get Geneva into the skilled nursing department of SJSH on June 22, 2018, where she is right now. Then in March 2019, I decided to live here myself because I had and have witnessed the care given to my wife at this beautiful, professional and outstanding place.
I repeat my thoughts that God led me here. Here’s the actual story of how I located SJNH. I pulled into the gas station on the lower road and asked the attendant, “what is that big building up there with the cross on top”, he replied, “it’s a nursing home”. Well, I went up to see for myself and found a lot more than that one building with a cross. I went in and spoke with Sister Elizabeth. She gave me a swift outline and small walk thru and I was immediately convinced. What was the main reason, you ask? For me, it was the Chapel with a resident Priest and all the Sisters busy at work and everyone walking swiftly with smiles on their faces. I arranged transportation for Geneva and almost as soon as she got situated upstairs Sister Monica reviewed the list of medications and she said, “this one is enough for a two-hundred-pound man”. That confirmed my thinking that this was the right place.
I hope my story will help you decide where to have your aging mother or father or relative or friend or indeed, yourself stay during the end of their journey. I certainly hope you will come and visit us here at THE SAINT JOSEPH’S SENIOR HOME as soon as possible. Believe me, you will not be disappointed.
If it’s an Alzheimer’s situation your facing, here’s a poem that really tells you all there is to know about it:
Do not ask me to remember,
Don’t try to make me understand,
Let me rest and know you’re with me,
Kiss my cheek and hold my hand,
I’m confused beyond your concept,
I am sad and sick and lost.
All I know is that I need you
To be with me at all cost.
Do not lose your patience with me,
Do not scold or curse or cry.
I can’t help the way I’m acting,
Can’t be different though I try.
Just remember that I need you,
That the best of me is gone,
Please don’t fail to stand beside me,
Love me ‘til my life is done.
– Owen Darnell