When I got to Dad’s yesterday, 10 of the residents (4 women and 6 men, including Dad) were gathered in the sitting area, and a staff member had been playing ball with them – working on their motor skills by tossing a beach ball to each of them and trying to get them to hit it back. The idea was to try to keep the ball from hitting the floor – a lofty goal (if you will excuse the pun)!
The staffer had just sat down when I got there (she had worked up quite a sweat from the activity), so I took the ball and continued the game with them. Some of the residents were more successful than others at hitting it back to me. One man would catch it, look at someone else, and then throw it to me. One of the ladies would catch it, wrap her arms around it, and grin at me as if to say, “It’s mine now! Ha ha ha!” Fortunately, I was able to coax her into throwing it back to me after a little while. A couple of them would let it fall at their feet, and then kick it across the middle. When it landed near the staffer, she would toss it back out. One time, it headed towards one of the women, but she didn’t react until it bounced off her head.
When I would toss it to Dad, he did a good job batting it away. What struck me, though, is that even though he is right-handed, he used his left hand to hit the ball each time.
At 4:00, the nurse indicated that it was time to stop and to start bringing the residents down to the dining room for meds and then dinner. One of the men in the group had a walker that had been moved across the room during the game. As the staff member was walking one of the other residents down the hall, he asked for his walker, so I went and brought it to him. I held it steady as he stood up, and he was so grateful, he smiled and gave me a hug.
Dad seemed tired after that, and it was time for meds and dinner, so I didn’t stay. I was really glad I had stopped by, though, and that I got to play “catch” with Dad and his “friends”. I hope I get to play again, since I am able to get there during the day now that school is out. I actually had fun!