Thursday, March 6, 2008

Nursing Home

I visited my friend John in the nursing home yesterday. Depressing!

The building is in a good area with adequate facilities and plenty of staff. There seem to be quite a few African nurses/staff working there. Care givers and hospital staff positions seem to offer instant employment to newly arrived African immigrants.

John was sitting on the front verandah with his wife Joy when I arrived. He was quite lucid and discussed amongst other things the bank rates of the day. Even in his very confused state he is concerned about their investments and superannuation.

He was unhappy about Joy leaving and in the couple of days he has been in the nursing home, her departure has been hard for both of them. I was a bit of a buffer as Joy left to return home. After some time we ran out of things to talk about so I suggested that he show me his room. It was difficult for him to arrange the walking frame, but once he got started we made a fair pace to get to his room. He shares a small room with another chap who has obviously had throat cancer as he has a tube sticking out of his throat and talks with a computer-like voice. He makes regular trips outside to join nurses and other patients in a smoke-fest.

Surprisingly John doesn't seem disturbed by all the noise from dementia patients around him.
It concerned me much more than it did him. Once in his room he became quite confused as to where he was and what common objects like a chair were. After a short time I left him. His family has a loose roster to visit and Joy is going to try and formalise a roster of visitors.

Not far from the nursing home is the Swan River where once stood a large sugar refinery. Over the other side of the river at Bicton is a water polo club and pool. When the sugar refinery was still operating an arrangement was made to pipe heated water from the refinery across to heat the pool. When the refinery was removed and the land carved up into million dollar housing blocks an artesian bore was sunk near the pool. Now, excess hot water is sent back across the river to a nice series of ponds where the heated water steams out creating a virtual tropical garden. Very nice picnic spot that not many people know about. I shall take some pics for another posting.

On Google Earth search for Bicton, Western Australia and the water polo pool and ponds near the point across the river can be seen.

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