Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I shouldn't be here. I am not sick. I am not even sixty years old.  (My only crime is that I cannot walk) But, the reality is, I am. No one as young as I am should have to be here. You see things you should not see and hear things you shouldn't hear. Death is almost a weekly occurrence. There residents here who are younger than I am. I
I shouldn't complain.

I was asked what, if anything, could be done in a facility to make it more like home. An older resident might feel differently. In my opinion, nothing can be done to make a facility feel more like home. Sure, you can hang pictures on the wall. Bring treasured possessions from home. But you sleep in a hospital bed, there is a nurse's station outside your door, they check your vitals and dispense medications. Being here is as close to being in a hospital as you can get. No matter what euphemism you choose to use to .make it sound better. It's still an institution.

A younger resident, entering a facility, can expect a major culture Shock. No matter what you may have been told, nothing prepares for the reality and finality of life in a facility. There are days when living here is one hundred times worse than anything I could have imagined. But then there days like today when everything goes smoothly.

You get used to being forgotten.because there are so many residents who need care. Many may be sicker than you are. Those people are cared for first. Last Monday, I was left in the bathroom for over an hour. You never get used to it. You just have to accept it.

You'll be ignored. Two aides may come into your room to help you, but they don't acknowledge you because they are too busy talking to each other. You get used to it.

Other residents yell for help. You'll try not to, but if you get left in the bathroom and don't have your call light, you'll find yourself yelling too. You'll be embarrassed,  but it will be the only recourse you have.

In order to survive in here, you need a supportive family, A computer. Trust me, you'll go crazy without one. You need to find a staff member or two who listens and lets you talk to them when you need to. I  also enjoy the company of two residents I eat my meals with. Like me, they just do their own thing. No Bingo or crafts for them either.

I have not gone out very much this winter. I have been doing a lot of writing. Sometimes the hassle of public transportation and making sure I am up on time is just too tiring. I plan to start going out again. Get out of the facility whenever you can  You will feel better.

I hope this post can help a younger person entering a facility. I hope my message is clear. I want them to know that I know the fear and uncertainty they may be feeling. I want them to know they are not alone.