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Channels: Entertainment - News

Tags: seniors - aging - family friends - life after 50 - skilled carehealth



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life After 50

Views: 421
Added: Mon. Jan 28, 2013 2:04pm
Posted in: News




WMKVSHOW 1-28-13

Hello again. This is Alice Hornbaker for WMKV 89.3 FM and wmkvfm.org streaming around the world on the Internet Mondays and Thursdays at 2:20 p.m. and Fridays at 8:50 am. And as a blog on growingbolder.com, Facebook and Linkedin.com

Life or death? It could have gone either way. It was almost Christmas as I rode in the life squad to a hospital, my head spinning with what was later diagnosed as bronchial pneumonia, my heart pounding into an irregular heartbeat. I didn’t care. Too ill to talk, I let the pros take over.

Now eight weeks later I’m again home, pounding the keyboard, grateful for all the help I received and the drugs that helped me. But while in skilled care for two weeks, I saw first hand how dreadful the end of life can be for so many seniors housed in nursing homes until they die. Too many just sit in wheelchairs outside their rooms, staring, unable to participate or in many cases, speak. My roommate I was told was into early senility and spoke only occasionally but never to me. She only stared.

To get an early release I took my new best friend, a four-wheel walker, and did hall laps over and over in the long hallway. Residents stared. One asked me why? All I could muster was, “To get better and go home.”

Lots of my family and friends visited once I was on the mend. But most residents on my floor never have even one visitor. Their families deserted them. They hang in limbo. Internally I cry for them. Why don’t all adults realize “There but for the grace of God go I ”

And if one is lucky enough to celebrate his or her 65th birthday, each will see the inside of hospital sometime and yes, need skilled care. So where is the empathy today among families and friends for those now are in nursing care? Do families really write-them off as already gone? Out of sight, out of mind? In too many cases yes.

So what can all adults under 65 do? First of all consider nursing home visits to family and friends a top priority remembering they are a preview of your life ahead. (Remember--Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?). Find some time to visit. It brings joy just to hear another voice other than doctors, nurses, aides. Visits cost nothing except your time.

When I left my roommate, who didn’t speak, broke out into a big smile as I said goodbye.

Her aide said, “That’s amazing. She recognizes you.”

Gold, pure gold.

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