A Sunrise Respite Story

Rebecca Price  |  March 20, 2014

Brad and Jennifer needed a vacation, badly.  The couple had not traveled together since Jennifer’s mom, Arlene, moved in with them 5 years earlier.  Arlene was fairly independent but Brad and Jennifer just weren’t comfortable leaving her home alone for more than a few hours.  What if she fell?  What if she forgot to take her medications?  Would she bother to make herself a decent meal?  Unfortunately, because Jennifer was an only child, there was no family nearby to help with her mom’s care.  The couple didn’t know what options were available, but they knew they needed a break.

Brad stopped in to visit the community one evening, after a co-worker told him about respite options at Sunrise.  Brad’s friend was in a similar situation and his dad had enjoyed a short term stay at Sunrise earlier in the year.  After touring the community and asking lots of questions, Brad determined a stay at Sunrise would be an ideal way to provide him and Jennifer with some time away.  He was also hopeful that it would be an enjoyable experience for his mother in law. Brad was anxious to get home and tell Arlene about the cooking classes and scenic drives at Sunrise.  Knowing she spent the better part of each day by herself while he and Jennifer were working, Brad was confident Arlene would be excited about the activities in the community.

Arlene arrived for her first day of respite on a sunny Monday morning. She was wearing a bright new pair of yellow Keds and clutching a small stack of paperback novels. Because Arlene spent so many hours home alone, she had become an avid reader and typically finished at least a book or two each week. Arlene seemed a bit uneasy as she was escorted to her suite but relief washed over her face when she saw what was waiting for her. The room was beautifully appointed with lovely furniture and a cozy quilt on the bed. A yellow flowering plant had been placed on the night stand. Yellow was Arlene’s favorite color and she was delighted that such care had been taken to make certain she felt at home.  Sitting near the flowers was a card for Arlene that had been signed by the Sunrise team members as well. Her favorite soda was even waiting in the fridge. Things were off to a good start!

Arlene loved to visit with the other residents, and she made friends quickly during her stay at Sunrise. She spent her first week engaged in all that Sunrise had to offer. She was often seen petting the house dog, Shadow, and was caught more than once sneaking him a few bites of the goodies she enjoyed in the bistro. She looked forward to joining her new friends at each meal and to participating in the various cooking and craft classes that were offered as well.  Arlene even won some bingo prizes.  Most of all though, Arlene loved to attend the afternoon socials. She never missed a single one.

The following Monday, Jennifer and Brad arrived, looking refreshed, to pick Arlene up. She was happy to head home but sad to leave her new friends.  Jennifer followed Arlene up to her suite to gather her things. Glancing down at Arlene’s stack of books, Jennifer asked if they had sent enough reading material to get her mom through the week. Arlene chuckled and said “I’ve been so busy I’ve hardly had time to read more than a page or two!  I love you both but this vacation was way overdue!”

Rebecca Price
Senior Resource Counselor 

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