One of the scariest places in life is a Nursing Home, it’s like being under Lock down. They think for you, they Breathe for you, they even tell you when they think you are Dead, when you are right there and some Idiot behind a stethoscope is saying that you are. Jane was a great Friend of mine, I met her while working in a Nursing Home, our meeting was designed by Faith. My first Day of work I was assigned the west Wing where she resided. On first contact I entered her Room and introduced myself, letting her know what services I was there to perform. Must have been my mannerism, but we bonded instantly. Jane was an eighty years old Irish Lady from the old Country, filled with Brogue and Flaherty-generous-ruler-well behaved . She recounted to me how she had made it to this point, including when she entered fine Homes through the Back Door as a Domestic, how the Nursing Home sold her Home to pay for her upkeep, and how her Children were negligent. I consoled her letting her know that her situation wasn’t unique, I told her that Children have a way of forgetting all that their Parents have done for them. From that day on I had adopted a Mother.
I mentioned this to my own Mother by calling her my #1 Mother, in her state of Dementia, she asked me how many Mothers do you have, as square as a Box. I explained to her that she would always be #1 however Jane would also be a mother in my life. As long as both Mothers lived I dedicated at least one hour a Day seven days a week, which I used to keep them grounded and focused. When Dementia is your enemy, you need a friend each and every Day to give you that moment of clarity. Without that moment of clarity, your whole Day is a Fog. When I met Jane she was one hundred percent Bed ridden, would not eat and withdrawn from Life. Within a short time I got her to eat, socialize and exercise physically and mentally to the point of having her Meals in the Dining Room. I was proud of my efforts to rehabilitate her even though that was not my Job. The entire staff was amazed by what I had accomplished with Jane, knowing that they had given up on her as she had given up on life herself. My friendship gave her the encouragement needed to deal with the Bungee drop of a Nursing Home.
With Dementia, once they realize that they are losing it, and always in a state of confusion, they withdraw and slip into depression. It’s for you the live wire to put the spark in their lives by extending yourself to them, you listen no matter how foolish or far fetched their stories, never patronize them or tell them that you don’t believe them. Most importantly always tell them that you Love them, in my case I was not just blowing Smoke. I truly Loved them both, I should be wiser than Salomon, as long as I can remember I have always enjoyed the company of older people, drawing on their knowledge and wisdom that age has bestowed. As I have mentioned in earlier pots, even at fifteen I was hanging out with grown-up people. I attribute my Education to these people, the only thing School taught me was to Read and Write, everything thing else, how to be a Man, a friend, a model Citizen, a Human, a good Neighbor, everything that matters in how to Live and interact, they taught me. My Mom’s did a great job on me that is why I am compelled to carry on their Legacy.
I Trespassed on Lady Jane, inquiring about her past, her youth, the high points and the lows in her Life, I asked for advice on Relationships and Life. She didn’t Minced Words, after all the age disparities were great, so if she called me a Fool, I said yes Ma’am. Dementia Patients love to talk about their past their long term Memory is usually much better than the short term Memory. Jane and I was great friends for life and beyond, every morning after clocking in, I would go to her Room and give her a kiss. A Nursing Home can be a wretched place for Neglect, Incompetence and poor care. After all the time and effort put in bringing her back to the living, one fateful morning I went to her Room to give her kiss, as I had always done once we became friends. She said Toony, that’s how she pronounced Tony, I feel something awful, I kissed her Forehead. Now I had an awful feeling, she was cold as Ice as if the Heart had stopped and the Brain was on borrowed time.
I alerted the Nurse on duty at the Nurse’s Station, who just happened to be the assistant Nursing Director. She was someone totally inept and unfit for the job she held, but educated in how to push paper, which is a Nurse’s primary function in a Nursing Home. Incidentally the visiting Doctors are equally inept with their Moonlighting efforts. When the assistant Nursing Director finally got around to going to Jane’s aid she placed her Hand on Jane’s Forehead, quickly exited the Room, did not take any Blood pressure, didn’t use a stethoscope, but she informed me that my Friend was ok. Now this was someone I overheard telling another Nurse that she didn’t know how to do CPR, yet she was the Assistant director of Nursing. Within a half an hour the news struck me like a Hammer, my sweet Lady Jane was Dead. From that day on I hold a deep Contempt for incompetence in the Workplace, no matter where. It’s like a Sacrifice in Dying, her’s opened my Eyes to the Danger of Nursing Homes.
Your Friend Tooney