elderly

‘It is never enough. You can see the loneliness in his eyes when he hugs us goodbye.’: Daughter’s ‘gut wrenching’ nightmare makes her realize just how lonely her elderly father is after wife’s death to dementia

“I had a nightmare. I was being taken to a home I didn’t recognize and into a room I had never been in before. I was in a wheelchair. My mom is telling me it will be OK. She is holding my hand, and I am crying. I tell her I want to go home, but she is telling me I am home. My heart aches for dad on the other side of the door, knowing he will lie there, waiting, for the next visit.”

‘You don’t see what goes on behind closed doors. We love your family members as our own.’ Aged care worker explains she is not ‘incompetent,’ but ‘pressed for time’

“They don’t see us hold the hands of a man with Parkinson’s to ease his shakes. They don’t see us sing their favorite song quietly as we feed them breakfast. They don’t see us cry as we comb the hair of a resident who has just passed so they look presentable for their family. They don’t see us go home as a broken, shattered human who has seen more in one day than most people will ever see.”

‘No, I’m serious. He shot me.’ My husband was lying completely alone on the ground. He dragged himself away from the door. There was nothing I could do. Absolutely nothing.’

“My husband said, ‘I tried calling Ben, but he’s not answering. That’s not normal. Someone should go check on him.’ Ben has heart problems, he’s elderly. ‘I have a really bad feeling about this.’ They were not going to go inside because they knew he kept a loaded pistol next to the bed.”

‘Are these seats taken?’ He smiled kindly. ‘No, ma’am.’ His wrinkled hands are bruised. His bride, in a cable knit cardigan and white Keds, sits across the aisle. It’s a full flight.’

“I opened the pretzels for my daughter as he fiddled with the slick, shiny wrapper. I couldn’t decide how quickly I should offer my help. It was clear his violently shaking hands were not able to open this bag. ‘These are not senior friendly,’ he says. I know nothing more about him, but I need him to know this.”

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