It's now widely discussed in the newspapers whether old folks should be sent to the nursing homes or not. It's easy for some people to voice out their opinions saying that it's an evil act to send one's parents to the old folks home.
Why do children send their own parents to the old folks' home? There are a few reasons which people who are not in their shoes shouldn't make any comments. Time. If the old folks are bed-ridden then you can imagine how tedious the work of caring for them will be. If they're on feeding tubes, that makes things even harder. If they're senile, they'll be sending you up the wall within minutes. Patience... I finally find that I have patience for the old folks... for other people, I find no patience.
Two years back, when grandaunt suffered from multiple strokes, Juju and the whole family couldn't cope with the traveling back and forth to the hospital. They have work to do and an active little boy to look after. Thus, I, with the weirdest working hour find myself happily driving up and down the hospital. I started to get tired of doing that after a few weeks. Lunch was easy. I cooked for her according to her diet plan after her feeding tube was removed. Night time was hard for me.. I reached the hospital around 11pm... the tedious work which drove everyone up the wall.. I find patience in doing it... until 1 am, I was still at the hospital... shifting her pillow to make her comfortable... yes, shifting pillows for 2 hours. Juju's sister and brother almost went crazy...
Then, the hospital said grandaunt must go home. Oh..no! How? I can't take care of her... I only have a few hours in between here and there. Everyone else is working around the clock. In conclusion, we started hunting for the best nursing homes. To choose one, please pray before you enter. We went to the first one... made an appointment to meet the owner.
The owner has PR... can really talk. I almost believe him about what they will do for the old folks. How they care for them until I walked out of the place... and I almost yank that owner out to the garden and beat him into pulp. We almost agree to let grandaunt stay in that nursing home until an old man who was senile, emptied his bowel in the living room. Two Indonesian maids dragged the old man out to the garden, stripped him naked and used the garden hose to bathe him. IN THE GARDEN~!~ RAINING!! Then, the owner walked out and smiled at us saying, "Call me to confirm when you're sending your grandaunt over." My ass... she's bed-ridden and on feeding tube again, I wonder what you're gonna do to her when I'm not around to see.
We're smarter when we went to other nursing homes. We made an appointment but I purposely went either before or after the appointed time. The best was to spring a surprise but in the end, we were more surprised than anything else.
The second one was over-crowded. The beds were so near to each other there was no walking space. Three people running the place. Most of them were waiting to be fed for every meal. They gave assurance that everything will be taken care of. Then, I was thinking to myself. By the time they fed one resident, the meal time was over. To feed 50 in one room, breakfast will become dinner and dinner time will be replaced with next day's breakfast.
Third one... in one of the medical centres. We booked a place there as we heard that there will be medical doctors and nurses around the clock. Should be good, but extremly expensive. Never mind about money. Then, we met a few ppl who gave us their encounter with the medical centre's way of doing business. Nurses are also humans... no doubt about that but if you chose to be a nurse, then where's your compassionate heart? I don't have a compassionate heart, that's why I'm not a nurse. I heard that the nurses will only feed those old people who gave no trouble. Those who gave them trouble, they will ignore them during meal times. @.@ Slight fever, pushed them to ICU... call you the next day to inform you that it's RM10k for one night. Slight fever, stay 3 days.. that will be RM30k ++
Fourth one... sorry, fill up forms to get into the waiting list. Able to walk.. wait 2 years. Bed-ridden wait 2 months. *blink my eyes* The senior doctor who was treating grandaunt allowed her to stay in the ward as long as she wants but there's this young doctor who always finds the chance to discharge her when the senior doctor wasn't around. Juju asked me to go give that young doc a piece of my mind as grandaunt used to be the headnurse in GH. Whenever I went to the ward to catch that young doc, he ran away. He either hid in the toilet, went for tea break, went for lunch or went home. I didn't manage to talk to him at all.
We went to a few more. They locked the nursing homes like prisons. They fixed visiting hours which I would never be able to follow especially the ones in the evening when I just started work. I requested night visit after my work but they refused. In the end, we found one which gave me the green light to come visit whenever I want and usually I stayed until 1 to 2 am coz grandaunt's bioclock went haywire. She slept in the morning and stayed awake at night.
She went back to be with the Lord one month after that. Before she was attacked by more strokes that took away her ability to do anything, she sang the song 'I Surrender All'. I knew her time was up. I regretted not spending more time with her when she's well. I only dug out all my free time to be with her when she was not well. I truly miss her.