While many people harbor fears of storms or monsters or animals, my fear has much to do with nursing homes. You see, when I was a young girl, my paternal grandfather had his leg amputated due to gangrene caused from his diabetes. After he was released from the hospital, he went to a ‘nursing home’ as they called it in those days to recover. (Today nursing homes can also be called convalescent centers and people go to recover at a rehabilitation center.)
While grandpa was in this nursing home, there just happened to be a young boy, a bit younger than me, also a ward of this home. This boy had been there practically since birth since he was mentally incapacitated. (I did not know it at the time, but now suspect he was probably autistic).
While we visited my grandfather all the time, no one but no one seemed to ever visit this youngster. To me this was so sad. I could not believe that any parent would just turn their child over to others just because they did not know how to take care of him or her.
If you couple my sadness with the fact that these ‘nursing homes’ smelled of antiseptics and death – especially to a young, impressionable kid, this can form a lasting impression – which it did! I have never liked these places and fear them more than death!
One of the reasons that I started Time To Care and vowed to show elders in my care that With Age Comes Respect is because I never want to see anyone have to enter the damned halls of a nursing home when I can give them very good care and do it right in their own homes!