A Frightful Trip to the Nursing Home

Hello peeps.  Thinking about what to write and decided on my recent trip to the nursing home to see my demented aunt.  My Aunt’s room is situated on the first floor with other residents who are not quite with it.  She remembers who I am, which is good, but is prone to making statements that are not based in my reality.  A conversation can go something like this:

Auntie incredulous, “Your sister thinks she is 38, impossible.”

Me, “Yes she is.  I’m 40.”

Auntie, “No!  You can’t be.”  She becomes conspiratorial, leaning over to whisper loudly in my ear, “I tell you what, take your passport and go to the bank and they will tell you how old you are.”  She sits back with a satisfied smile.  At least it’s better than when she tells me I, and my children, are all going to become popes or sometimes it’s queens, depending on the day.

Anyway I love going to see her, she still resembles the person I love enough that it’s not too painful, yet.  The frightening thing about my visit this time was when I was trying to leave.  I walked the gauntlet of afflicted elderly people who were wandering the halls.  I had almost reached the elevator when I happened upon three dementees loitering outside their bedroom.  As I tried to walk past one grabbed my arm and, with a grin which I was sure conveyed evil intentions, ushered me into the room.

I was trying to be polite and understanding, so I smiled back and said hello.  The lady just kept smiling her vapid smile and started nodding.  Why was she nodding, oh my, I think I’ve had enough, I need to get out of here.  The other two were now blocking the door and I had to politely, but firmly push through them to get out.  I retained composure, and as much as I wanted to run the final few metres to the elevator, I walked, albeit quickly.

I reached the elevator without further incident,  however there is a key pad which requires four numbers in a correct sequence to call the lift, this is to stop the detainees from leaving.  I could sense something and looked over my shoulder to see they were shuffling towards me.  Were they zombies, OMG!  I punched in the code and willed the elevator to hurry up.  Phew, it came and they hadn’t reached me yet.  I stepped in and pushed the button, but the doors were slow in closing.  I repeatedly punched the button with an agitated finger whilst watching the zombies shuffle closer, they were almost at the door.  Ahhhh!

The doors slid shut.  Thank God I survived and none escaped.  Well, my heart is certainly beating faster after recounting my experience but unlike the spider story, no people, no matter how zombie-like, were harmed during this encounter.  Next time you visit a nursing home, beware!

10 Comments

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10 responses to “A Frightful Trip to the Nursing Home

  1. I face that every time I fill in at the long term facility in the hospital I work at. It is spooky being chased after by folks that aren’t quite all there, but there’s enough still there to make you wonder if the staffing numbers shouldn’t be beefed up a bit more. Every facility I’ve ever seen is the same, key pad entry/exit and folks who don’t really know what’s on the other side of the door, they can’t remember, but they want to go see. They can plot some pretty daring escapes! *hugs* I know too about the pain of losing someone inch by inch daily. Heart breaking situation to be in.

  2. Hi Dee, yes it’s not pleasant, but like everything, I try to look at the funny side. Thanks for the hug 🙂 (I never say no to a hug, just so you know lol).

  3. Possible the worst affliction we as humans can have, to completely lose our memory of lifes deeds and misdeeds. It is so good of you to visit like you do Dionne, most just discard these relatives and only whisper their names.

  4. A funny take on a tragic situation. Can totally picture that shuffling… 🙂

  5. Hey You!
    This episode sounds very similar to my neighbour incident *** nods knowingly v-e-r-y slowly ***.
    It’s so sad when people start losing their sense of reality and it’s great that you can see the funny side of what’s associated, so that you can still spend special time with her.
    Love the way you re-counted it too. Great writing, as always:)

    • Thanks Jane, yes it’s hard but I always remember who she used to be and she would have laughed about my story too, she used to read my stuff and encourage me.

  6. When my mother in law was in a care home we experienced very similar situations. One resident who was prone to violence lived my daughter and said horrible things about me as soon as she saw me, nothing I said would make her like me expect when my daughter told her I was a nice person! She once grabbed my son on his way out the door and tried to escape with him he was freaked. Another resident was younger than me and used to grab you as you passed her and there is no reasoning with them. It would be terrible to end up like that and I could feel how scared you were but it’s good your aunt still recognises who you are.

    • Hi Anne, Wow that sounds much scarier than my experience! Your poor son, he must have had nightmares. It’s sad but I try and see the humour in things, it’s the best way to remember things sometimes 🙂

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