Visiting grandma at the nursing home


Grandma in 2007, before being put in nursing care

Grandma in the nursing home I have been visiting my grandma at the nursing home a lot lately.  It’s really sad the state she is in… she has dementia/Alzheimer’s and stays locked up in her room all the time with the blinds shut.  Every time I walk in there it’s really dark and she is sitting up on the couch.  I always ask her if I can open the blinds and she says yes.  I let light in for her.  I show her this quilt that sits behind the couch she lays on and talk to her about it.  She likes the quilt and it keeps her conversational.  She doesn’t always remember her husband and she often gets names mixed up.  There has been one time, recently, that I saw her and she did remember her husband – his name, everything.  And she always remembers her mother’s name.

Anyway, I put lotion on her skin because she kept commenting on it – the 4 times we have visited her she has pointed to her dry skin and expressed discomfort.  The lotion we used today stunk, next time I am going to grab the “Vanilla Chamomile” from Bath and Body Works.

I miss my grandma… it’s really sad the condition she is in.  I want to take her outside next time I see her.  Erin and I are going to try.  We’re going to ask the staff if it’s okay and how to go about it.  If she wants, of course.  If not, we may just open her window for her so she can get some fresh air.

I notice she functions better when there isn’t a lot of clutter; her cognitive skills are better.

The nursing staff doesn’t really check on her… there are only 1-2 staff members on duty at once in a fairly large facility.  The food they get isn’t very good.

I want my grandma to have the best quality care possibly, who wouldn’t?  I want to make life the best for her while I am still here in Indiana.

After visiting her I am humbled… and I realize that what’s important to me is not important to her, or people as they get older.  It really makes you think about what matters.  Now I see why they say you should go volunteer at a nursing home or in hospice at some point in your life.  Visit enough and you’ll start to see what really matters.

My grandma has lived so many more years than me… I wish for her that she could remember… it’s just nice seeing her, and I know that it is a gift that she is still alive.  I will continue humbling myself each time I see her and trying to live out my dreams despite the fact that I know she is declining… meaning, her brain is going.  I wish that I had all the money in the world and could, at the very least, pay for her to get quality food, ie: Gerson – ie, raw, organic, 90% vegetables and fresh juiced drinks.

I will continue to see her.  Tomorrow I am going to go and see if we can take her outside.  Like I said, the very least, open up the window.  Oh, and I wonder how often they bathe/change her because she has the same exact outfit on from Thursday.  I won’t worry too much about what needs to be fixed at the expense of being in the moment.  I just want to be there for her and make her stay, and mine, as best as possible.

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