Grandma recently had a bad fall. This is the second time in as many years, and her dementia is getting worse, so she’s now in a nursing home for rehab, but she’s not ever coming back home.
She’s losing touch with reality more and more…but worse than that, she’s losing all hope to live. She’s in chronic pain and she never wants to do anything, never wants to leave her room. She just wants to sit and watch tv. She alternately says she’s bored, zones out or cries.
It breaks my heart.
But the nursing home she is at is a wonderful place. Every month they have a family brunch. Today was the day and I asked my mother if I could come too. The nice thing about the better nursing homes is that they really try to help the old people have a little fun and entertainment.
Today, brunch consisted of Belgian waffles with fresh berries and peaches, omelets made to order, and thin sliced pot roast, roasted potato wedges and grilled zucchini. Really yummy.
Around noon, there was an entertainment in the form of a pretty humorous keyboardist who sang for us…and actually quite well. At first, I was not sure what type of music he would play, given the fact that all the elderly in this facility would be the most familiar with Lawrence Welk era music.
What we we got instead wasn’t so bad.
The first song was a timeless classic – Unforgettable. I always get a little weepy when I hear that song…as usually I end up thinking of those who are no longer in my life.
The second song had personal meaning for me. Van Morrison’s Have I Told You Lately That I Love You is one Mr. RSG and I love to dance to at weddings. I’ve always loved that song, and Van Morrison is one of my all time favorite artists.
There were other songs, and lots of bantering from the vocalist/keyboardist. He was a funny guy and gave the residents and their families a good time.
There was a guy there with diamond studs in both his ears with a coy way of talking and a special way of walking…he was a card. A little light in the loafers maybe, but all right in my book.
One of the assistants to the nursing home was really sweet. She went around to a few of the old ladies sitting in their wheelchairs, grabbed their hands and danced with them (well, sort of). I thought it was really cool to see that she was engaging with them.
She passed by my grandma though…most likely because my grandmother simply looked totally unaffected by what was going on around her. Oh, she heard and understood the music all right. She just said she was bored.
Again, it broke my heart.
My grandmother was never a positive, upbeat kind of woman, and in her old age, she’s simply looking more sad and morose.
It got me to thinking I hope I never end up that miserable when I’m her age. I hope there’s still some fire and passion for life left in me…even if I end up in some nursing home. And I hope it’s a nice nursing home like this one…not one where they abuse you when no one is looking.
I don’t want to be sad, depressed, and just marking time until I die like my grandma is. I hope if I’m in as much pain and depression as she is, they legalize either marijuana or assisted suicide by then. Yeah, I know, that’s a million ways from wrong…but my grandma is locked inside her own head and she can’t be helped through normal channels.
I want to be like those happy geriatric ladies, clapping their hands and enjoying themselves in the little time they have left. And if I can’t be…well, what’s the point of living if its going to be in misery?
I’m seriously considering volunteering at that nursing home…just to give me something to do and to see my grandma more often. Maybe I’ll find another old lady or two to visit as well, so I can listen to their stories.
Yeah, I’m thinking that would benefit them and me.