Another Day in Assisted Living

The day begins when I wake at 6 a.m.

I normally wake at that time, when my internal clock is working. Of course I go to sleep when it gets dark outside as well.

6:04 a.m. I hear a soft scratching at the front door and then it opens ever so slowly on well-oiled hinges. Just enough for me to make out an eyeball surveying me.

Am I dead or alive?

I move so that they, one of the blue shirt aides, (we’re just doin’ our job) can see that I made it through the night.

I kept a count yesterday, of how many times my privacy (such as it is) was intruded upon. Just out of curiosity.

I included, little peeps like the first one in the morning. (I know they enter the room at night to remove the garbage because the plastic bag which I now leave on top of the garbage can so I won’t be awakened when they remove it and put a new one in the container) is gone in the morning.

Three separate recreational therapists (?) knocked and then entered around two o’clock, each asking if I wanted to play trivial pursuit in the activity room. Normally, I might but I had just come from PT and was sore.

I hear an aide in the hall right now saying, Good Morning, she’ll be at my door soon – there she is: Blue shirt. Happy happy happy. Are you coming for breakfast? I usually have breakfast in my room.

I have bread with cream-cheese and a ripe tomato, and some excellent coffee that I brew myself and by not being on the breakfast round up, I can get down to the Med Dispensers before the morning breakfast crowd, and instead of sitting around with the kvetches (ok, I might become the head kvetch before long) and I can just walk in and get my meds from the robotic dispensers – and get back to write this blog.

I try my best to write something every day, even if there’s nothing dramatic to write about . It’s a journal. It meanders.

Oh, so then there were three blue shirts who came in yesterday to ask if I wanted my bed made. Then another one in the afternoon to ask if I was alright.

I was, flashed through my skull until you came in.

They emptied the single paper plate from the garbage can three times during the day.

When I was done counting, it totaled 20 intrusions during the day, and unless I stay awake to count during the night, who knows.

Next Thursday, will be a month. I am trying my best not to make waves until then.

At any rate, I didn’t arrive here paranoid, but I’m getting a good feeling for what it’s like. Very Orwellian.

In case you’re wondering, the doors have locks, and you can lock the door. Contrawise, all the blue coats have master keys, so all you end up doing is prolonging the amount of noise that precedes entry.

And on top of that, I don’t even blame the blue coats. They are under strict orders to do what they do. If they don’t they’ll lose their jobs. And I’ll bet the managers are restricted by state regulations for Assisted Living.

There are often state inspectors around and everyone from the case workers to the med dispensers are terrified of them.

Published by Dave

My name is David Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City. Or I was before I had two strokes. I now write from a Nursing Home.

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