A Visit To a Nursing Home… Meeting, a 103 Year Old Woman.
Lately, I have been feeling lonely and trying to find out a way to become more socially active while being in a debilitating body. And so I’ve been thinking of various things that I can do. And I have come up with a couple of ideas. One of the things I have thought about for quite some time now and I finally decided to do is that since I couldn’t go and visit Dad who has been in a nursing home now for about a month since he had a stroke.
The next best thing to do would be to go and visit another nursing home near my area. I had been in a nursing home about three years ago and in various hospitals not being able to go home for over eight months. And so I went to visit the last nursing home that I had been in thinking that I would perhaps recognize some of the nurses, staff and patients who are there. And I would go there in my father’s honor and with love in my heart.
I have not been able to go and visit him since I live in Texas and he lives in North Dakota. Growing up I always thought of him as a wily old bastard, stubborn righteous mean and hypocritical. As he has aged, and he is now 87 years old. Thank God, he has turned into a much kinder, sweeter, more understanding man than I would have ever believed could happen and since his stroke, he is even kinder.
My father’s his voice is getting stronger and stronger and his cognitive factors are getting better. He always speaks about how sad it is to see some of the people who were there. And I know just how he feels.
I miss him.
Since I have MS and am in a wheelchair I have to call to make arrangements for transportation, at least one day before. The pain in the ass about that is that the nursing home is only 3 min. from my home and yet it is hard to find the correct times for my ride. Since there are other people who need to be using that wonderful system. The blessing in all of that is that I can get to where I need to go.
So of course it was a blast from the past to walk back into those doors and to again see the setup and people doing all the jobs that they are paid to do to take care of the sick and the elderly. I love old people. They have amazing stories to tell. And experiences that we have never even thought about, or imagined. Each one is a book with hundreds of stories and if we just take the time to listen to them and really hear them we will get untold knowledge, history and understanding, not to mention giving an unbelievable gift to someone else. Something that we will never know about.
Whenever kindness you think you are doing for someone else will come back to you tenfold. That is the way of the world. So if you want to do something wonderful for your self, do something wonderful for someone else. It will do your heart good.
I spoke to several people who worked there who remembered me and I, them. And my favorite part of the day and was when I stopped at the first elderly person I saw sitting in the hallway by herself. When I asked her age . Helen told me she is 92 years old. I put my hand to my heart and kissed it up to God. She looked as though she were in her 70’s and it seemed her mind was quite clear and with her modern glasses she had 20/20 vision. She told me a little bit about her life and that she was last one of her family who was still alive and she had buried a husband, her children, nieces, nephews mother, father, brothers and sisters. Everyone. And yes she was smiling . I held her hands the entire time I spoke to her. She could not open or close her hands and they were totally paralyzed and yet, her fingernails were perfectly polished and manicured and it seemed that she really appreciated being touched and shown him affection which I truly felt for her . She is really amazing and I will go back and see her again. It seems I have made a new friend.
In spite of her age. she was inquisitive about how long I had been there and if I had been satisfied with the care. And although the care that I had gotten was pretty good depending on the people who were taking care of me, and because I was in my late 50s at the time and had a family nearby to make sure I was taken care of, I did not want to tell her of any of the war story that I had been through. She had stories of her own. Helen told me several caretakers who let her sit in her dirty diaper all day long, and she couldn’t find anybody to help her. And it seemed that it had been happening to other people there as well. So, at their varying stages of aging and illness and temperament, they decided to start a group would meet every other week and complain and talk about the situations that were bothering them! You go girl! What a marvelous woman. They actually got a couple of people fired for not doing their job for which they are paid to do. Helen told me that she pays $5000 per month to stay there.
I spoke to her for about 25 min. and then went on to speak to others. Before I left. She asked if I would come back and visit again and I said, surely I would. Just imagine the story she has to tell about the world that she had lived in.
Several of the people I went to speak to could not talk very long because they were on their way to bingo.
Nursing homes are in general depressing places. I saw people lined up in a row in their wheelchairs just waiting in the hallways… waiting for one thing or another. One elderly woman that I spoke to for a while looked like she was so cold so I fixed her sweater and her blanket and she was so grateful for. Just one little thing… I was told later on that she is 103 years old! She was all bundled up and could barely lift her head, but she managed to say thank you as she closed her eyes and went back to sleep in her wheelchair.
Gratitude is the gateway to happiness and today I am so grateful for all of the blessings that I have in my life. I have my wonderful family and friends, I live in a nice home. We have the most wonderful little French. Bulldog. I am able to use the computer with the help of my voice recognition system. I have the Samsung tablet in order read as many books as I want and I have the most wonderful home day him care aide that you can ever imagine.
I know that the universe, or God , or whatever other name you want to give to a higher power is always showing me the way and that if I just open my mind and listen. I will never be stuck and I will never be lonely or sad and I will always be able to do things to make the world a better place.
You can read more funny, sad, tender, real-life stories of my life lived with MS in my book, Potty Mouth.
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renaeclare@twitter and on my blog page right here http://thepottymouthbook.me/If you are interested in learning more about how to get my book, if you want an inspiring story, if you have a love of reading or if you need information about disabilities check out the Potty Mouth website. Thank you so much and I wish you well! http://www.thepottymouthbook.com/Front Cover Back Cover