Posted by: Bonnie Anderson | November 4, 2011

From ALF to Smurf

Last week I reported that we were searching for an assisted living facility (ALF) for my father-in-law.  The ALF world is a strange one indeed.  The places I visited ranged from depressing and scary to festive and cruise-like.  In my search I encountered friendly people, helpful people, angry people and some people who were just plain blue.

I know my father-in-law was a little down about leaving his home of 53 years.  You combine that with the fact that it has not been quite a year since his wife of nearly 63 years died, and you can imagine the emotion involved in this move.  He is a sharp guy with his biggest problem being that he is considerably sight impaired, but he knew the writing was on the wall.

I narrowed it down to three places for him to check out last weekend.  One was too small.  One was larger but did not have enough activity.  One was just right.  We could tell he was leaning heavily toward the one.  The problem was that the one he chose had only one apartment available so we were in the “if you snooze you may lose” mode.  Still he wanted to sleep on it, and I certainly understand that.

Monday the report came from the Cruise Director (facility administrator) that another potential new resident was slated to come in that afternoon to have a tour.  Suddenly his decision was made and my sisters-in-law drove him over and signed on the dotted line (many dotted lines).

Monday was Halloween, so to make this strange time of his life just a little stranger, he was greeted by an odd version of the Blue Man Group.  Yes, smurfs checked him in.  His eyesight is bad, but not so bad that he could not see the sea of blue welcoming him to his new home.


After they welcomed him, they gave him his physical assessment.  They are a very thorough group.

"This won't hurt a bit."

Now all we have to do is set up his new home.  We’re certain that once he moves in, they’ll keep him busy enough that he won’t have time to be blue anymore (and hopefully neither will the employees).





  1. What the smurf?? It really seems like a playful environment – I’ll be curious to see if he likes it! Thanks for this perspective.

    • Thank you for your comment. Yes, we are hoping he will be happy there and expect him to improve with more options of activity and more people around other than care givers. Now we just have to get him set up.

  2. A home with books and Smurfs! Let us know how your father and law does. I have a feeling you made the right choice.

  3. […] Anderson – You may know Bonnie from the Ship Bound For Tarshish blog. She is not only a dear friend, but she is in the same Writer’s Group as me, and has been for […]

  4. We have been in your shoes! My Mom moved into assessed living after my Daddy passed away (62years married) because she broke her hip. They have more fun where she is! Btw, even though she can’t drive, her car sits in the parking lot so she can be driven around in her own vehicle! LOL. Good luck to ya’ll! p.s. That word “assessed” should be “assisted”. Sometimes this iPad doesn’t cooperate!

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Martha. We are assessing the car part of the equation right now as he can’t drive any more either. So many decisions for him, but he’s being a trooper.

  5. It seems like a great place, I hope that it goes well for him : )

    • Thank you, Karla. And thanks for stopping by.

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