Monday, 7 November 2016

Nursing home visits

depress me - and they depress the Senior Cat. He's off to do one today. A younger cousin is taking him to see another cousin who is now in one. 
The cousin in the nursing home has had diabetes almost all his life. He has now lost a leg and the toes on the other foot to the disease. His wife tried desperately hard to help him stay at home but in the end they had to give in and he moved reluctantly into the nursing home. 
Now a much younger cousin comes a considerable distance about once a month and takes the Senior Cat to visit. It's an effort for both of them but Nursing Home Cousin appreciates it and that makes it all worthwhile.
I go in and out of two nursing homes here on a regular basis. One is a little better than the other but they both smell of stale cooking, cleaning fluid and other things it is better not to know about. In one I pass a woman who spends her days lying staring at the ceiling. She can't sit up. Rather than leave her alone all day someone will wheel her out of her room and leave her where there are people. It isn't done out of kindness. It is done because it is easier for the staff that way. Someone will shift her position as they pass. They don't need to remember to go into her room.
One of the staff introduced me once - as the friend of someone else. Now I will stop and chat for a moment. I get a faint smile and a few whispered words - often along the lines of it would be "nice to go". Yes, I imagine it would be. Nobody else comes to visit.
I say a few words to others on the way to see whichever person it is who needs me to fill out a form, help them write a letter, or has asked me to do some shopping for them. I always wonder whether they will all be there next time I go. Perhaps. Perhaps not. It's the way of those places. 
I have to go to a meeting this afternoon but, before I do, I am going to make sure I give the Senior Cat something especially nice for lunch.

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