After caring for my mother in my home for six years, we moved her to Angels in November 2016. It was very difficult for me to release my tight grip on her care just as it would be for the mother of a small child.
My mother had selflessly cared at home for her parents, her in-laws, my father who also had dementia longer than 10 years, and finally her older sister who lived at Angels four years before she passed away there, surrounded by the love of our family and the Angels family.
As most know, it is overwhelming to care for every need of an advanced dementia patient because you are always thinking for them and carefully watching for cues that signal a need. I thought no one could care for and love my mother like I could.
However, Angels actually does more than I ever could, and now I’m able to be more of a daughter again. She is so loved and sweetly tended to by all staff at Angels. From those who bathe and dress her, cook healthy and appealing meals and snacks, provide joy through music and activities, all the way to those who administer nursing care and the administrative staff who take time to regularly observe, hug, and encourage her.
I never realized how beneficial it would be for her to spend her days with new friends with similar needs. Like children, they learn in the moments from each other and try harder to stand and use their walkers or participate in walks, porch visits, coloring, painting, or reading together when in a group
Their conversations are sometimes funny or serious, sad, or even incoherent, but the interaction is what is so precious. Residents don’t lose their integrity or individuality. Their personalities are still adorably evident, and they each have a lovely contribution to their house group as the unique Child of God that they are - loved by Him and by Angels staff. Encouraged by the staff, they soothe each other, pray aloud for others, sing, share devotions, do crafts, and enjoy exercise and special programs daily.
My first grandchild was born one week after moving my mother to Angels. The joy he brings to our family has not been missed by my mother. Beginning when he was about three or four months old, I was able to begin bringing him regularly for visits with his great grandmother. She has held him and fed him his bottles as an infant and even napped along with him, cuddled in her lap. She has not missed any stage of his sweet life. He knows and loves my Mama and her friends at Angels, who I consider to be his very first friends. They receive joy from him as he does from them, and it is such fun to watch and enjoy.
While I’m careful to bring him for visits only when he has no symptoms of illness, seeing his love for my mother is a blessing I cherish. What a treasure that I have such confidence in the home that cares for my mother and provides a clean and pleasant atmosphere for the most precious memories to be made with her great grandson.
Residents have a daily schedule of thorough assistance with bathing and bathroom needs, and being gently loved awake in the mornings and loved through bedtime routines for sleep at night.
Caregivers are obviously carefully selected, and I observe them to kindly and lovingly assist residents and also even hold them to their chest with soft reassuring words that “Yes they are loved, and Yes all is well” during the moments when they can’t remember where they are or if they have forgotten something so very important to them. These tender hugs and reassurances ease their fears and restore them again to the joyful day they were experiencing. The peace of mind I have because of the care my mother receives at Angels is remarkable.
Careful daily observance and assessment by caregivers, activity directors, nursing, and administrative staff notice even subtle changes in emotional and physical well being.
Excellent nursing staff administer medications several times daily and provide immediate assessment of needs that require additional attention by the nursing directors, nurse practitioner, or the facility physician.
Each resident is known so well by all staff and treated with such kind respect and dignity. They are always dressed appropriately and expectantly to receive visitors as if they were welcoming them to their own homes.
Holidays are special events at Angels. Each home is beautifully decorated, and the calendar fills with meaningful activities and visits.
Families are kept well informed of any of the needs of the resident, yet every need is handled by staff as if the resident were a beloved family member of their own, which they truly are in the Angels family. Angels staff so often plan gatherings and activities with residents and families that require them to spend portions of their own weekends at Angels. That is because they truly love their calling to this profession/ministry; they just bring their own families to enjoy the blessings of fun with the residents.
The most essential contributing factor to the incredible success of Angels for the Elderly is the Christian foundation of the staff. Without a doubt, Jesus’ reply to the question of which is the greatest Commandment is on display as the Lord is loved with all their hearts, and the staff love each other and their “neighbors” (residents) as they love themselves.
As decisions are made for my mother, I have the distinct reassurance that Angels staff first seek to honor and please the Lord, asking for His guidance as they plan her care. I then see that their recommendations are based on expertise from experience, insight, knowledge, and continuing education received in caring for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.
As wonderfully as they love their residents, they also love their residents’ families and provide sweet opportunities for family involvement in special gatherings and celebrations. Each month, a newsletter shares recent activities, great articles, and upcoming events. There is even a monthly caregiver support luncheon where staff gather with families with helpful information and speakers.
The only thing more precious than the care received by Angels for the Elderly here on earth will be when we all get to Heaven.
- Genie Rankin
A million thanks really does not seem adequate to express our appreciation for all your meant to Gurnia and his family. We are so thankful you cared for him the last six years of his life. He was happy and content there and he loved all of you who cared for him. That meant so much to all of us. We have shared Angels with people all over Montgomery. You and your place is very special in so many ways. I am personally grateful. Since I saw all of your often, you are truly a gift to those who need special care, as Gurnia did, and God has you in his care. Thanks again and know that you are loved by all of us who knew and loved Gurnia.
- Gurnia Moore's Family
Thank you all again for the loving care you gave to Tommy Williams. Always remember that yours is not just a job, it is a sweet calling from God. With grateful hearts,
- Tim & Penny Williams
No words can express my appreciation and gratitude to you and the staff for the loving care my mom received during her years at ANGELS. In her final days – I was comforted by being with the “family” I have come to know and love! We were truly blessed to have you all in our lives. I know everyone will never forget the lady from NYC. Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart.
- Karen Nelson
I wanted to let you know how much my family and I appreciate the wonderful care you gave my mother, Pauline Chambless, while she was a resident at Angels for the Elderly. She often told me how good the caregivers were to her, and I know she was receiving the best possible care at the best facility. It is apparent that you all have a special heart for the elderly – your work and facility show that. Thank you for making a difference in Mother’s life – and in mine.
- Cheryl Letson
With sincere gratitude to you and your fine staff for all the excellent care and attention, kindness and love shown to our “Soggy” in the four years she was with you at Angels. It truly was her home and she considered you all her “family”, too! You were / are a blessing to us all. May God bless each and every one of you – you truly are “angels”.
- Kitty, Chet and Brian Goolsby
I just wanted to express again the deep sense of appreciation that our entire family feels over the marvelous treatment that our father received from you and all of your staff. The care, concern and professionalism that we witnessed is none in today’s environments. Our father was as happy and content there as he could be in view of the situation in which he found himself. You made his last days on earth as comfortable as he could have experienced anywhere. We will ever be grateful for you and your staff’s care for him!
- Frank Chesser