My mother and I visited my uncle at the nursing home yesterday instead of our usual Sunday. He was in pretty good spirits but he's been giving the night staff fits all week. Dementia patients are very sensitive to change and are disturbed by things so subtle that most of us don't even notice. It may seem odd but when dealing with someone whose mind is breaking down the caregiver has to get smarter.
We kept him company while he ate lunch, then got him a shampoo and shave and we went for a walk. Once Rocky arrived to pick us up we all went to Assumption, a nearby Catholic church. The dear woman who is across the hall from my uncle is a parishioner and when we brought her back a bulletin she was thrilled.
Assumption is a tiny parish in a rotten neighborhood. I wouldn't want to be on foot but driving through in the day time is okay provided you mind your own business and keep your wits sharp. It's not a neighborhood to wander around daydreaming in. Assumption itself is one of the prettiest little churches I've ever seen. It's made of brick and has exquisite stained glass windows. They have an antique statue of Our Lady and a very nice icon of Our Lord. The Blessed Sacrament is right in the middle of the sanctuary. The priest's chair is off to the side and in a little alcove. My uncle did great. Right before Communion he needed to go to the restroom which is downstairs. The stairs are long and narrow and my mother couldn't handle that with her cane and just as she was figuring out what to do a parishioner kindly took him there and brought him back to her. God bless that man.
Father preached the longest homily I've ever heard in a Catholic church but it was good. He summed up our whole Faith. How long was it? Well Mass started at 4:30 and didn't end until 6:30. Father can preach!
Next time we'll try to visit St. Thomas Moore or Our Lady of Perpetual Help which are the next closest churches to the nursing home.