31 "Through Someone Elses Eyes"

How I feel someone feels staying in a care center

Through Someone Else’s Eyes

Here I am lying in a care center for the elderly and sick. This is a place I always said I would never be, but I am here.

A lot of the people are here just because they have no one to care for them. They have no family that can come visit them or they just have no family. I feel sorry for those poor lonely souls. But, the ones I really feel for are the ones that actually have someone but they are here because that someone doesn’t have time for them or they just plain don’t care. If they are lucky, they will get a visit once in a while. Most of the time the patient just looks lost, they look like they couldn’t care less if they live or die. And you should see them light up when that someone does take the time to pay a visit. It seems to me that the special someone thinks that just because that person is old they have no feelings or need for some attention. When that someone leaves after they have spent a few minutes out of their week to pay this out of the way visit, that poor little old person is lost again.

I am not here because I have no one or because no one cares. I am here because I am 83 years old and I had some medical complications. I was living with my daughter, who was taking very good care of me, when the complications started. I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks and then they placed me here for rehabilitation. I was only supposed to be here for a couple of weeks. I know it’s been longer than that. It feels like it’s been forever. I want to go home with my daughter. Even though she works, she does a better job of taking care of me. Besides, if it’s my time, I want to go at home, not in this God forsaken place.

I have six daughters that take care of me. One is alive in my heart, Linda, and she does almost as much for me as any of them. We lost Linda November 23, 2004. I have one that lives in Colorado, Roe, one that lives in the state of Washington, Betty. They live a long ways away and I know they do their best to help and they do come see me when they can. I have one that lives in San Pedro, Garnett, that I get to see once a week. She’s the baby. She doesn’t have a car but she does take the 3 hour bus ride each way to see me. I have one daughter that lives in Orange, Sue Ellen, and she helps take care of me a lot. Then there is my daughter that lives here in Anaheim, Eva. She is the one I live with and she has really taken care of me most of the time. I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for her.

When I was living at Eva’s house she would get up in the mornings during the week and make sure I was comfortable. Sue Ellen would come and spend the day with me. Then Eva would come home from work and spend the rest of her evening taking care of me. Weekends, I would take up almost all of Eva’s time.

Now Eva comes to visit me in this God forsaken place for 2 or 3 hours in the morning before she goes to work and then at night after work she is here until I fall asleep. Sue Ellen comes during the day. The girls do most of the work for the nurses. They even change my bedding. They make sure I eat at meal times. I just don’t see why more people can’t take time to spend with their older parents, or even grand parents. I know it has been making my last years on this earth much better just knowing that I have family that loves me. I even had one week when I had all 6 of my daughters with me. Of course Linda is with me all of the time. I know she is actually waiting for me on the other side.

Then there is one other child I would love to see before the end of my time. It is my one son, John. I haven’t seen him in a long time. He served in the Air Force during the Viet Nam war and spent a year in Viet Nam. He was such a loving son and always very close to family before he went in the military. Then he never was the same after he returned. Over the years he became very short tempered and withdrawn. Now, just a few years ago he just moved and we lost all contact with him. I know that all of the terrible things he encountered in Viet Nam finally got to him. God knows I would love to see him and let him know that I still love him, no matter what.

I have been begging Eva to please take me home. I tell her that when my time comes, that’s where I want to be. I absolutely don’t want to be here.

Greg

Memo

 Just so everyone knows, the lady this story refers to had a relapse and went back in the hospital. She has now been allowed to go home to her daughter's house where she is comfortable.

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Comments 30 comments

JLSB profile image

JLSB 5 years ago

Greg this is a very true of so many older folks. It is sad that it has to be that way. Our folks took the time and money to raise us and I guess thats the least we could do for them. And when they are in a home, the least we could do is make sure we go to see them.


gregas profile image

gregas 5 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi JLSB, Thank you for the comment. I have always felt this way and now that I am reaching that time in my life it seems to hit a lot closer to home and it makes me try to take even better care of myself to try and avoid ever being in that situation. Again, thank you. Greg


LaughingRain profile image

LaughingRain 5 years ago from Arizona

good blog. glad she could go home. terrible to die in a hospital.


smartcharle1520 profile image

smartcharle1520 5 years ago

very good


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Beautifully written story of how difficult it is to be in a rehab/nursing home even if family is still visiting and supportive. Glad you added the memo at the end so we know this lady made it back to her daughter's home.

The paragraph about the estranged son, was very touching because it was written with such understanding and compassion.

Thanks for sharing this story which has the ability to make readers see things from the elderly person's point of view.


gregas profile image

gregas 5 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Happy, I have always felt this way about the elderly because I saw how so many elderly people were treated when I went through the same thing with my ex's dad when we were younger and married. And especially now I realize I am getting up there and I can feel for them even more. Her son still hasn't been located and she is still at home with her daughter and doing OK. thank you for taking the time for commenting. Greg


sonia05 profile image

sonia05 5 years ago from india

Dear Greg, this is a very moving hub. I too share your concern for the elderly who just need the support and time of their children. Just as parents look after the needs of their dear children in their infancy till they become responsible, its the duty of the children to look after their parents in their old age.

Recently,I wrote a poem on this very issue titled

"old is not gold sadly". You can check it out whenever you are free.

Thank you for sharing this heart tugging story and have a good day!


gregas profile image

gregas 5 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Sonia, Thank you for the visit and the comment. I will read your hub. It is sad that children get older and seem to be too busy to care. Luckily there are some like Eva that actually sacrifice a portion of their lives for the love they have been shown in earlier years. Greg


Trueshortstories profile image

Trueshortstories 4 years ago from Canada

Up, beautiful and interesting. You are a good writer so keep doing it. Sometimes I would rather write than talk.


gregas profile image

gregas 4 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi TSS, Thank you for the visit, votes and comment. I have thought about this since almost 40 years ago when my ex's father was in homes and I saw those poor people and how they must have felt, sitting there, day after day. And now my girlfriends mom has to be in a home for medical help. My girlfriend is there with her every day. Greg


Trueshortstories profile image

Trueshortstories 4 years ago from Canada

It is so sad, so many of these people lose their identity sort to say.


KDee411 profile image

KDee411 4 years ago from Bay Area, California

Greg, It could be any one of us. It's so sad. Time flys I'll be that old too soon, we all will! If we're 'lucky to live that long. I've lost one of my children and another one has not been himself since loosing his brother. I see him every now and then, hoping for the best, but his siblings have stoped caring. It hurts, but we can only pray. Out of work long enough makes a person crazy. Good Hub, lots of feelings.

Kay


gregas profile image

gregas 4 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi True, Thank you for the visit and the comment. The sad part is that there are a lot that can remember and know how great it would feel to know someone cares enough to visit, even if it is just every other week or so. Greg

Hi KDee, Thank you for the visit and comment and sharing some of your life with us. Greg


thumbi7 profile image

thumbi7 4 years ago from India

Very touching story!

In India also we can see many old age homes mushrooming even though old parents live with their children typically.


stessily 4 years ago

Gregas, Very moving about a sad situation which happens all too often. It's a relief to know that this story has a happy ending, with the lady being able to return home.

Very compassionately presented.


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 4 years ago from new delhi

in the Dog eat Dog world i guess it is a sign of the times that no one has time for the ones left behind, whether it is the losers in the job race, or the children abandoned on the streets,or the ones the multiple economic revolutions never touched or the old folks.Once you have passed by your productive date you are useless and have to be abandoned.

I have an uncle and aunt whose son lives in singapore and works for an mnc and has neither the time nor the money to send them since they r retired and need money to survive.He visits them once every 2-3 years for 2-3 days and both of them uncle at 80 and aunty at 76 still work to survive.Worse than being in a home since they cannot even rest as much as their bodies demand.

Sad but true.I hope i die before this happens to me though i am sure my daughters will surely care for me


gregas profile image

gregas 4 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Thumbi, Thank you. It used to be that us old folks would live with the children in our retirement. They just don't have the time anymore or don't want to be burdened. Greg

Hi Stessily, Thank you. She has been in and out of the hospital an care center 2 or 3 times since I wrote this and home again now, but her daughter is still there for her. Greg

Hi Neele, Thank you. In these tmes there is just to much emphasis on money, not enough on family. Greg


vasmenon profile image

vasmenon 4 years ago from India

It is the sad part of the story in most societies. The old people spend their life time helping you grow up and then get abandoned in their old age.The younger ones who abandon their parents do not realise that some day they too will get old, and will be abandoned by their children!!!


gregas profile image

gregas 4 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Vasmenon, Thank you. That is sad. Right now I am waiting for my girlfriend so we can start our lives together. She is taking care of her ailing mother and that is her number one priority. That is one of the reasons I love her. She never even put me above the love of her mother, and I will wait. Greg


stessily 4 years ago

gregas, Such a loving girlfriend you have!

Your outlook, through your writings, encourages goodness.

This is one of my favourite writings from you, for the depths of compassion and empathy which are revealed. I love it even more because of your recent comment to Vasmenon. I love these words: "I will wait."


gregas profile image

gregas 4 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Stessily, Thank you. She is that. I have come close to giving up, but the love between us won't let me. It seems that my heart knows where it is supposed to be and will wait forever if I have to. Greg


lovedoctor926 4 years ago

I am touched with compassion as I'm reading this. I feel very strongly about putting my family in a nursing home or in an assisted living facility when they get older. I don't even like thinking about it, but unfortunately, there are instances where you just don't have a choice in the matter. You seem like such a caring person and it shows by your comment: I will wait and your heart knows where it's supposed to be. Actions do speak louder than words and it's during the rough times that you can tell who is real and who is fake. Your girlfriend is a lucky woman to have found someone who loves her the way you do. She is also doing the best she can under those circumstances. When my grandmother got really ill, we had no choice to place her in a nursing home. One night they called us to tell us that she had fallen off the bed. You can't imagine how angry all of us were. From there, she was transferred to another center. She was in a lot of pain and ended up dying in the hospital several yrs ago. It's devastating to place a family member in a home because one is too selfish to care for them. I can see why these lonely souls would feel the way that they do. Thank you for sharing.


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Greg. This is an excellent hub. I can relate to the feelings of the old. I had to place both my parents in nursing homes (together) this was due to the 24 hour care needed, which I was unable to continue to provide for them. Their dignity was gone, Both were physically incapable of looking after themselves. Both were doubly incontinent. Pauline and I had mum and dad with us for over a year, the strain on all of us was unbearable.

We struggled terribly with the decision. After they went in, we saw them almost every day until their deaths. Mum lived to be 81, Dad live for another two years, he died aged 89.

Every day, repeat Every day tears come to my eyes, I pray for their forgiveness, yet I feel I do not deserve it. Believe me it is a cross I shall bear until the day I die. They gave me everything they could throughout my life and I let them down at the end.

It is not simply a case of abandoning the old, you can give your home, your strength and your heart and soul but it is not enough. Please no comments of self pity I am pointing out that sometimes there is no other way.

Graham.


gregas profile image

gregas 4 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Love, Thank you. There are times that this can't be avoided, it just really bothers me about the ones that put their parents there just so they don't have to deal with them and the ones that put them there and politely forget about them, or just "don't" have/make time to visit them. Greg


gregas profile image

gregas 4 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Graham, Thank you. I am sorry that they passed. My dad just passed last October at age 96. My half sister took care of him and he was able to live by himself with her next door until the last 2 weeks. But there are times when they have to be placed, but not forgotten.

I am still working on John though and his mom is still hanging on. Greg


old albion profile image

old albion 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

Hi Greg. Thank you for your comments. I do hope that John can be found, otherwise we have another human tragedy.

Regards.

Graham.


twillnurse profile image

twillnurse 4 years ago from North Carolina

That is why in the nursing home I treat them as my parent or grandparent. I have a few little ladies I kiss good night after I help one of them get ready for bed. I do this after I have done my med pass she does not like the male aides so I offer to help. The first time I helped her she called me back to the bedside and told me I want a hug lol it was so sweet so when I work with her I folder to help put her to bed. She is a sweet lady have not seen any of her family visit in the 3 weeks I have been there. But what gets me is when some do visit they fuss complain or want to talk for hour or so and we just can't with al the work we have to do . If they visited more often they would know but where I work the nurses do almost every thing for 30 Pts meds pass trays feed Pts pick up trays meds again from first time and vitals.


gregas profile image

gregas 4 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Hi Twillnurse, Thank you. I thank you for being one of the people that knows how to show compassion to the elderly. There are so many that just do the job and don't really care. And for how much they charge for some of these places they sure live on a minimal budget. Greg


princenadeem profile image

princenadeem 3 years ago from pakistan

So beautiful writings, an excellent hub.


gregas profile image

gregas 3 years ago from Corona, California. Author

Thank you Prince.

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