Spa Day at the VOA (Volunteers of America)

Spa Day at the VOA                              By Lori La Bey

I remember Valentines Dinner, at Red Lobster the year my Dad passed away.  My Mother, Dorothy, looked beautiful.  Her hair was perfect.  Her favorite perfume filled the air and she of course was wearing red, her favorite color.  Mom, boasted to all at dinner about her spa day at the VOA, code to the rest of us: Volunteers of America Nursing Home.  She bragged about doing her own nails, which we knew Chris the beautician or Bobbie in activities did for her, but it really did not matter.   Mom looked great and felt wonderful.

During dinner with eyes glistening, a broad smile, and pride beaming and bouncing from her, my Mother proceeded to tell us all how staff hoist her above the whirlpool and lowered her gently in to soak.  You could see her mind melt as she told of the caressing jets pumping lightly against her body.

All I could visualize was a crane like machine lifting my Mother, a large woman of about 280 pounds into a whirlpool tub.  As I bit my checks to stop from laughing, I noticed the rest of my family doing the same.  For us, this was no relaxing spa like treatment, but to my Mother it was the cat’s meow!  The peace and calmness lit up her face and impressed us all.  At that moment we all wanted a little of what she had experienced. 

Mom was actually trying to make us all jealous of her luxurious life.  It was fantastic how much she loved her home.  Her resort. 

In this particular stage of Alzheimer’s disease, my Mother could sometimes still grasp the big picture.  She could connect the dots.  She understood her arthritis made it difficult for her to get in and out of the tub and the hoist allowed her the experience where she could sit, soak, and enjoy.  What her mind chooses to hold onto at times amazes me.

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