A Sign This Nursing Home Was Meant to Be

A family is reassured that they made the right choice for Dad.

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Posted in , Mar 25, 2021

A smiling male aide; Getty Images

“I hope your dad’s going to be happy here,” Mom said. We were settling my father into his room at a new nursing home. If only we knew what he was feeling. But Dad couldn’t tell us. Parkinson’s disease had robbed him of the ability to speak.

It hadn’t been easy finding the right place for him. At first, we’d cared for Dad at home. When that became too much for my sisters, mother and me on our own, we moved him into a care facility, but it wasn’t a good fit. There was only one really positive thing about it: a nurse’s aide named Don.

Dad’s eyes always lit up when Don entered the room. He was a young man in his twenties, which would have made him distinguishable at the nursing home even if he hadn’t been tall, dark and handsome. But what really stood out was Don’s attitude. Don made a point of greeting Dad every evening. “Hello, Mr. Bolz,” he would sing out with a big smile. “It’s good to see you!”

He always called him Mr. Bolz, I remembered. I know Dad loved that. When Don got a new position elsewhere, it made the decision to move Dad easier.

Now that we were here, though, we could only hope we’d made the right choice. What if this new place was no better than the last one? Had we disrupted Dad’s care for no reason? Mom took Dad’s hand. “Are you okay here, dear?” she asked. Just then the door opened and a staff member backed into the room, pulling a cart of supplies.

“We’ve done our research,” I said with as much confidence as I could muster. “This is the best place for Dad.”

I moved to let the cart go by and, as I did, noticed the man pulling it looked familiar. Tall, dark hair…

“Don!” my mom, sisters and I all cried out at once in surprise.

Don turned around with that familiar smile. “Well, hello, Mr. Bolz!” he said. “It’s so good to see you!”

Dad’s eyes lit up. Yes, he was right where he belonged.

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