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27 November 2012

I'll start saving the tablets...

I am just back from visiting my uncle, who has recently been moved from hospital to a nursing home on the side of town where I work.  A visit long overdue. I have no excuse.

He knew who I was immediately, which was good as my parents had told me he was a bit confused, then during the visit he asked who I was?!  His short term memory is poor, but then I have this problem at times and I'm only 56. His long term memory seems to be fine and we managed to find plenty to talk about, even though he still remembers my girls as being teenagers - they are 32 and 30.

Confusion reigned over where he has been living, insisting that my younger brother had just got rid of his house in Oxford Road, a home he lived in with his parents and brothers many many years ago, I decided it was easier just to agree with him.

A big thanks by the way to my younger brother who has shouldered the burden of keeping an eye on our uncle over recent years.

The nursing home was warm and inviting BUT it not home, all the "inmates" for want of a better word sit in their chairs with the door open to the corridor and there they sit from the time they get up til bedtime.  Meals appear to be eaten in the room.  I asked if there was a common room but my uncle said the people that went there were all gaga!  He can no longer read, he has TV if he wants it, otherwise he just sits. He does have a window which looks out onto the garden and there is a bird feeder and he can see the passing traffic. I'm sure he is a bit depressed, he said that he thinks about how much longer he has, and that he thinks he is happy with how his life turned out - he never married so we are the only family he has left.

Depressed yet? I certainly am, so with that I will leave you with a photo of my favourite place

This is where I want to end my days - scattered on the beach

8 comments:

  1. Oh, Sue, that is a sad story. I always hate to go to nursing homes. My dad was in one for rehab for a short while after he broke his hip. It was true there that the patients in the common room were pretty out of it. So tragic. There must be a better way to care for the elderly, but I sure don't know what it is.

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  2. I am glad you went. Good for him and in the long run good for you.

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  3. One of my fears for the future is being forced to put my parents in a home because neither of them would be happy in one. I hope to be successful enough that I can afford to either take care of them in my own home or send them to one of those assisted-living apartment buildings. Thankfully I shouldn't have to think about it for a while. I'm sure that your uncle was very happy to see you and that you really brightened his day, you are so kind.

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  4. Ah bless him. It's so difficult when we grow older. Would audio books be any good for him? Just thinking if he can't read it might give him a little bit of entertainment :)

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    1. audio books and radio suggested an rejected I'm afraid. I think everything is just too much effort

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  5. Your uncle must have been glad to see you. There doesn't seem to be much quality of life in some of these places, with the word 'care' covering the basic needs of a roof, food, water, heat, cleanliness, medical care and little else. I cried when I read your post. I was fortunate in that I could look after my mother at home. Love and hugs Sue, and love and hugs to uncle. xx

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  6. These places should be more cheery. The last hears of a person's life should be restful and happy. We always hear such terrible stories. I am glad you visited your uncle. I am sure he was happy to see you. I wonder why re rejected the audio books... Cheer up.

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  7. I am sorry about your uncle, but I am sure he is grateful that the family he has is nearby. Will say some prayers for him!

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Yours in friendship, Sue x