Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Encounter with the Elderly

Alrighty, this post won't have pictures simply because I don't feel like adding them but also because I want to protect the identities of all involved. Ever since I got together with my husband he has told me of his Great Grandmother "Nana" and how crazy she is. His family has since told me many stories along the same line; this woman has apparently been nuts for a long time. But on Monday I got to meet her for the first time and...I honestly have to agree with them.

She is a 93 year old woman living in, honestly, one of the best Senior Centers I have seen (my mother used to work for a few when I was little and this one is far better in both attenants and cleanliness thank goodness.) but she is definately feeling her age. Apparently she's never really liked my husbands mother, who was with us when we went to see her. She is also blind as a bat. So when we got there and his mother tapped her on the shoulder, the first words out of her mouth were "I'm not sleeping!" Second words out of her mouth, to his mother, were "Where's my coffee? You crook, you stole my coffee, I'm calling the police!" Now this is where his mom said in her ear in a loud voice, her hearing aids were on the fritz, who she was. Nana then went in a surprised voice, "No kidding?!"

So mom was talking with her for a while, with me and the hubby standing by, and it was apparent that she's unfortunately getting Alzheimers. My own Great Gram also had it so I've seen the signs first hand and they sadden me. Though at times my own Gram was quite funny, as was his. Especially when she told his mom in a confidential tone "Don't go out at night, they'll give you nickels!" Now, his mom says she meant to say they'll take your nickels, but who "they" are and why they'd be concerned with giving or taking nickels is beyond all of us.

I know it sounds like I'm making fun and while it was funny it was also sad.

A long time ago people took care of their elders, but now our lives are so busy we don't have time to care for them properly and they go to Homes...where they sit and wait for visits until they pass on. This Home was one of the best I've seen but the poor woman, as crazy as she is, still looked so lonely as did a few of the others sitting in the common room. I never got to see my Great Gram when she was in the Home, my parents thought I should remember her as she was and not as how her age had affected her...and while I appreciate the thought to preserve my memory of her, I wish I could have seen her just once more before she died. So in an odd way, this visit was nerve wracking, saddenning and cathartic all at the same time.

But please, if any of you have relatives in Senior Homes, go see them, if only for a minute. It will make there day and possibly your's too.


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