Refuse to be Passive

Someone Cares

In Life in General on February 7, 2010 at 5:32 pm

I went to a local nursing home this afternoon to help out with the chapel service my church hosts once a month. There’s something about nursing homes that makes me feel incredibly sorry for the people who live in them. This nursing home was old, and downright depressing. Some of the newer ones have more of an open concept feel, and a bit more privacy in the rooms, but not this one. Tiny rooms, two to a room, and the chapel was held in a small room rather than an open area. It honestly made me sad to see how these people lived. A number of them had visitors, but I felt sorry for those who looked as if they were never visited. Those who were more with it than others gave knowing looks to me about certain inhabitants. The range of people and mental capabilities was astounding. Some were near vegetative while others didn’t look like they needed to be in a care center at all. Sometimes I think it’s the hardest on the high functioning ones because they are still alert, but are surrounded by those who are not. And regardless of how capable they may seem, they still can’t leave if they want to.
What our society does to the elderly is absolutely abhorrent. Unlike other cultures which venerate the elderly, we squirrel them away as if they don’t exist and make excuses for only visiting them once a week, or even once a month, or worse yet, only on holidays. Is this how we will want to be treated once we hit that stage? Shame on us! It was painful, anyways. I got a spark of joy though from hearing them sing, and noticing how special they felt the service was. I inquired as to how one of the ladies enjoyed the service when we were helping them back to their rooms and her eyes lit up. She told me she greatly enjoyed it, took my hand between both of hers, and thanked me for coming. I took my free hand and placed it on top of her papery one and smiled– I was delighted to be there. I wanted her to know that she was special– that someone cared. Because isn’t that what all humans want? To know someone cares?

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