Rabu, 22 Oktober 2008

What Happens in the Nursing Home

...does not stay in the nursing home. This is not to be disrespectful to anyone there, especially my mother. But, the fact is if you have had or do have a dear relative in one you know the experience can, well, drain you. If you don't have someone in a nursing home, get ready. It's bound to happen.

So, we visit my mother, separately, over the weekend. Each of us reports to the other, me to Ed and Ed to me, that we can barely hear her and what she says sounds jumbled and non-English. She is expressive and her intonation is great. She looks at us as if she understands we don't get the joke. We don't understand her.

Then today, she's clear as a bell; we can hear her. She is speaking real words. But she's talking about having spent the day yesterday with a deceased brother and now awaits the arrival of another.

It's not funny. But, it is. We learned from a nurse that the best thing to do is to go along with these folks because we're not going to change their minds or change where they are at in their world. So we do.

Who knows what triggers the thoughts. Sometimes I can figure it out. My mom hears the staff talking in the hall and the comments work their way into her mind. Like the day she thought she and the others took a bus trip to a nearby town. Sometimes her ideas come from me mentioning a past event or a name or someone visits her. She can spin a yarn in her mind. It keeps her occupied.

I wish there was a way to get inside her head and hear what she hears, know what she knows. I wish there was a way to keep all the residents engaged and active. There just isn't. That's unfortunate. Walking down the hall to her, in the hall, sitting in her borrowed wheelchair, always leaves me wondering why we do this.

"This" I will leave to you for definition.

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