Sunday, February 21, 2016

On the Other Side of the Door

Image result for nursing home
You have driven or walked past a nursing home on occasion, perhaps frequently.  There may be such a facility that you pass every day of your life.  Perhaps it is a rare moment in which you even give it a thought.

 Or perhaps you have visited a nursing home to see a parent, or grandparent, or a dear friend who resides there.  If this is the case, as it is for me, then you have a somewhat better notion of life as it is lived by a resident there.  But even so, you leave after a period of time, after the visit is over.  

Yes, you have seen those who sit immobile in their wheelchairs, whose only greeting when you speak is a vacant look, a look that possibly is so long that it sees not you but that child who was a playmate seven or eight decades ago, or one whom that person loved and lost in her youth.

You have possibly experienced the atmosphere, the literal air in the building, scented as it is with the cleaning solutions, the bleach that in spite of the honest efforts of staff fails to mask the underlying aroma of humankind.  On a good day perhaps the smell of the overcooked Brussels sprouts permeating everything and semi-successfully masking that which the scouring and scrubbing cannot.

I have experienced both the casual passing-by of these institutions and the visiting within them, for I have had dear ones both family and friends who have spent long days, some have spent long years, within those walls.  I have family members and friends who have been and who are employed in the care of the patients within those walls.  But until this month I have never been an inmate, or a resident if you will, in a nursing home.

This, then, if things go as planned, will be a peek at life on the other side of the door.

The above is the preface to my personal nursing home experiences which I lost while trying to post with a "smart" phone.  I got my computer back and was finally able to locate the text, so as a Sunday break from the routine, these were my thoughts a month before my residency here.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknesses."  II Cor. 12:9


Grace said...

You are such a lovely writer. Looking forward to the rest.

Vee said...

Very apt description of such residences.

If I should in the future need to live in a nursing home, my instructions are that all of those serving Brussels sprouts be automatically eliminated from the list of possibilities.

vanilla said...

Grace, I appreciate your assessment and truly appreciate that you have stayed with me over the years. There seems to be a falling-away in the blogosphere-- more and more bloggers throwing in the towel or caving to fb and when they stop writing they seem to stop following, too.

Vee, perhaps a good standard for measuring NH livability. I wrote the article well ahead of the time I became a resident here and in the interest of full-disclosure I will say that I have been offered Brussels sprouts but once since entering the place and they seemed not to overcook them to the point of permeating the atmosphere with their distinctive aroma.

Secondary Roads said...

It is that smell of overcooked Brussels sprouts that makes those visits very unpleasant. However, it is worth that to be with a friend.