Old Age Tales

They try very hard to keep demented people out of this place (I haven’t given it a fictitious name yet) but the problem is that if you fill a building with people whose average age is about 75, you are eventually going to get some Alzheimers cases, even if they were perfectly sane to start with.

Yesterday, an old man got very angry about something, I don’t know what since he was cursing in Spanish, and tried to hit one of the nurses with his cane. As he raised ,or tried to raise it over his head, he had a terrific arthritic attack and couldn’t get his cane to go up or down and the nurse had to help him get the cane down.

On the other hand, there is a harmless sort of inanity that goes on. I went to the 14th floor early to try and get my breakfast first and then go for my prescriptions. The view looks out east, and there are trains – whether Amtrak or Metro North, I’m not sure, and they were pretty constant, maybe every ten seconds and the woman watched in wonder and every time a train went by she said, there goes another train. Eventually her admirer also in his eighties came by and sat next to her and rubbed her hand sweetly and said, how is my angel this morning.

She continued to tell him about the trains and he joined in explaining that there were always lots of trains during rush hour. It was very tender and repetitious .

2 thoughts on “Old Age Tales

  1. Yes, not all patients have Alzheimer’s, but might have degrees of dementia for many reasons. The lady watching the trains was just enjoying the moment, who knows exactly what the trains meant to her. The man who came later and they sat just being in the present was extremely bittersweet. Calm in an ocean of chaos. I worked as an Activity Director in assisted living facility for a few yrs. Each day was a new adventure, but I worked in the secure unit and it was horrible. Facility was excellent, beautiful appointed, smell free, etc, but the sadness behind the locked doors was terrible for me. I lasted 6 months and I was out. No more. When a hale and hearty 60 yr old put his fist through the community television, that was enough for me.


  2. Hi Dave

    Glad to hear that the move went OK and the place sounds nice.
    Hope all gets better and you get back to doing the photography you like best.
    Please send the address and let me know when you are up for a visit.


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