Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nursing homes

This morning I visited our friend John in his nursing home. I don’t think he really knew who I was. I took him a pack of Ferrero Roche chocolate which he seems to enjoy. We were sitting at a dining table with a couple of other ‘inmates’ and I offered one to each of them. The man sitting opposite me stared blankly at me and didn’t take up the offer and a lady who turned out to be completely blind informed me that she doesn’t like chocolate, so John had the job of finishing of the packet.

The dining room as lunch time approached is the place to get a good idea of most of the semi-mobile people in the nursing home. I expect that most of them have names given by the staff. There is one woman who for 17 months that John has been in care has been incessantly yelling out ‘help me, help me!’, punctuated by ‘get me a cup of tea’. It must drive the rest of them…….?

There are two students from the nearby Iona Presentation College doing their work experience/community service gig. They both looked shocked by what they were confronted with. Today was their first day and I guess that they, like us, hope we don’t end up locked away sitting out our time left playing bingo etc. Most of the patients are past playing games such as bingo and I noticed a board with ‘sounds like’ words ……prance, dance; France etc. I didn’t see anyone there who would be gung ho at such exercises. Most people don’t even watch TV.

Whilst there are plenty of staff there, some of the patients are not well looked after. Quite a few came to lunch with food stains around their mouths and sleep in their eyes.

One visitor is a fellow I know who visits his wife there. In front of her he moaned that they are feeding her a supplement to keep her alive. ‘I want her to die and get it over with’ he told John’s wife a couple of days ago. He had previously told me that he had tipped her supplement down the drain. Ouch!

No nice photos with this post.

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