Saturday, May 30, 2009

Touring Nursing Homes


Nursing homes are sad. It is a collection of people from all walks of life at the end of their road.

This past week we have toured four or five local nursing homes looking for a place for my mother-in-law for physical rehabilitation for her to regain her strength. She has been in the hospital for weeks.

In every one of the nursing homes we visited we saw scores of individuals in corridors propped up in their wheelchairs. Some were lifeless and rarely did we see one of them smile.

In every one we went the admissions officer fitted a certain profile: Female, pleasant looking, and dressed very stylish professional- and probably most importantly: a very warm sincere smile…. I think at one point or another each one tilted her head and warmly said, “Oooohhhhh”

The nursing staff mostly seemed like they were very caring people. As a rule they were friendly and seemed to go out of their way to make a resident comfortable. And they mostly spoke Tahitian accents.

I noticed some of the homes had big cages that covered a whole wall with live birds. I think if I there as a resident, that is where I would station myself, there in front of the birds to watch their interactions.

All the nursing homes had a big wall calendar with a schedule of events for the month. The last one had “Nail Time” every Friday. I wonder if that was to get a manicure or to hammer on a nail to take out your frustration? Old movies that were one time biggies were on the calendar almost daily. I looked in the room of the theater and was surprised there were only two or three chairs – wait! They would all be in wheelchairs, never mind.

They had trivia time, Name That Tune, religious or inspirational times more than once during the week.

About every other week one on one calendar had a dog time. It was called “Tail Wagging Day” or something near that. I think dogs were brought on for the elderly people to pet if they wanted. I hope none ever got snapped or growled at.

Sadly, the only ones that spoke were the ones that were confused. One handsome elderly man, who looked like he was a retired high ranking military officer, asked me, “How come you get to come and go as you please and I don’t?”

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3 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

Both my mom and her sister spent time in nursing homes, and it was horrible, even in the best of places. There were always people crying and begging to be taken out of there.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Judy,
You said it! The best of the best is still horrible. It still deals with people who are depressed, sick, and lonely.

1:43 PM  
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