She was born in Nishionomiya-city
Naoko Fujii
Care-giving is a Family Affair
My name is Naoko Fujii. We moved my mother to Umenoki Home two years ago. We wanted to share our story and express our thanks to the donors and staff of Umenoki. My mother was born in Nishinomiya City, Japan 68 years ago. She has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease with dementia for over 10 years. Her doctor felt that it was caused by exposure to toxic chemicals in Osaka during WWII. My 78 year-old father was caring for her at home in Mill Valley with the assistance of a daytime care giver and housekeeper until she needed more care than we could provide. We felt tremendous guilt that we could not care for her in her home of 35 years. She was falling and needed assistance eating, bathing and using the toilet, especially at night. She now receives hospice care from a visiting nurse from Kaiser. My dream was to have a house large enough to care for all my aging relatives, but living in the Bay Area with a husband and 2-year old son, it would never be a reality.
After she entered Umenoki Home
She felt more comfortable with her surroundings.
At a New Year's party, an old friend, Yane Ito, told us about Umenoki Home. I rushed over the next day. My father, my sister and I were exhausted and needed help. We had put my mother on the waiting list for 3 other small homes where Japanese food was served, but at our time of need no spaces were available. The dementia caused my mother to become suspicious of care-givers who were not Japanese. She would only eat the foods she liked as a child in Japan. She was also forgetting how to speak English. Umenoki Home met all our needs. We are so grateful to the staff at Umenoki Home for helping our entire family. Although the transition was hardest for my mother, after 6 months she felt more comfortable with her surroundings. Ken Ito taught us what to expect in the transition from her home to Umenoki and how the aging process progresses. We learned so much from Ken and the staff and we can't thank them enough.