Where do I begin? On Labor Day, we got to be a part of a potluck dinner here at Sunny Acres RV Park. No matter where we are, good cooks abound when it’s time for a potluck! It was nice to have an evening just to relax and not have a hospital visit to make.
We knew that the Casa Arena Blanca nursing home in Alamagordo was going to pick Raymond up the next day and we planned to be there when they did. Late in the afternoon, their van finally arrived and we went out through the hall doors to the front door. The whole staff was there, applauding, as Dr. Kim handed Raymond his certificate. It brought us to tears.
This is Casa Arena Blanca’s setting, with a backdrop of mountains. For those who don’t know “arena blanca” means “white sands”, appropriate name for a place in Alamogordo, just miles from the White Sands National Monument.
Inside, the deep inhale test was a good sign. If you’ve ever been in a “bad” nursing home, you know what I mean. Down the wide hall to his room. No carpet, which was another good sign.
In Alamogordo, the employment pool is relatively small and while several of the staff we’ve talked to live in Las Cruces or even El Paso, there is a significant group of contract “helpers” who are there for varying periods of time. One of Raymond’s (and our) favorites is a CNA from Louisiana who is just finishing nurse’s training. But just when we were all getting used to the staff, today they moved him to another room. It seems his insurance won’t pay for skilled nursing, so he was moved to a long term care room. He’s on a Medicare Advantage plan and we’ve discovered that even though Medicare would pay for 120 days, I think, the advantage plan is much more limited. The new room is still a semi-private one, but considerably smaller. Instead of a flat screen TV by each bed, there are two older models sitting side by side and only one “box” that allows them to work with cable. We’ll see how that goes. Raymond really likes being able to control his own TV.
One of Raymond’s requests is always for coffee with two sugars. In the little lounge beside the nurse’s station, we found coffee pots for the residents! Now if he will just stay out of bed and in his wheelchair long enough to take himself there, he’s in good shape.
We watched him at work in therapy a couple of times this week and he seems to try hard, even though he reminds them before he starts that he’s 80 years old and they shouldn’t expect him to work hard. The therapy staff takes it in stride and one thing I’ve noticed about quite a few of the staff is that they are willing to listen patiently. That’s a real plus, in my book. When we left today, they all knew that we won’t be back until November.
The latest eventful part of this week is that we have a signed and accepted contract on property in Yuma. You wouldn’t believe how hard that has been! The first property we made an offer on was under contract but the realtor hadn’t deactivated the MLS listing. The next one, after being on the market for more than 500 days, suddenly had 5 offers! They accepted one, so we didn’t follow through with that. Yesterday, though, our realtor called to say that their contract had fallen through and we could make an offer if we wanted. The rest is history! We are set to close on Sept. 29th and we will own a site with two RV hookups in the back and a garage/casita with extra parking for visitors’ cars up front. Welcome to our Yuma Landing!