Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nursing Homes are Amusing

I spend a lot of time in nursing homes. My mother has lived in one since February 2006 and now one of my oldest and sweetest clients, Mary, has been living in one since spring. I just spent the last hour with Mary, visiting and doing her nails.

Nursing homes can be very entertaining. I think a reality show would be really funny. They all have their own characters. My mother's nursing home has quite a few. There is Thomas, who has no legs and can't talk very well. I learned recently that he was deaf, which explains a lot. He squeals with delight when he sees me. I think I am one of his girlfriends. He communicates with me by mouthing the words in a very exaggerated way and spelling words with his finger in the air.

Then there is Merle. He buzzes around in his chair everywhere, asking anyone he can see to unhook his safety belt. Of course, we have to tell him no.

Mary's home is a little bit more exciting. It's more of a home than a facility, like mom's. The residents at Mary's are more able bodied and just need some assistance. There are some constants though. They almost all have walkers and the women almost all wear wigs. I am fairly certain that even though they watch TV, they have no idea what they are watching.

At both places, the residents are very well taken care of. The nurses and aids truly like the residents. You can just see it and feel it.

After finishing Mary's nails, I sat with her awhile. We sat there and watched out the window as a big, beautiful, black cat frolicked in the immense yard, behind the home. We watched him hunker down, flick his tail and then pounce on something. I think it was a bug.

Even though it is painful to see my mother and Mary, not being able to care for themselves, it is a comfort to see them both in homes like these. They are receiving good care.

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