Why didn’t I think of this before? I know better. I’ve studied this for years in long-term care. And, not only studied it, but put it in practice as a Nursing Home Administrator and Assisted Living Administrator.
Plants and animals are needed desperately. Especially now. We need to create an environment of hope for seniors let alone ourselves. In long-term care, we fight loneliness, helplessness and boredom. These are the three plagues we have been fighting for years. Just as we were at the brink of changing the long-term care industry into places that beamed with life. Birds in seniors’ rooms. Plants in seniors apartments. Dogs as pets. Cats as pets. All of this normal home stuff was happening in nursing homes. Now, what have they become?
Nursing homes and assisted livings are turning into prisons. If you don’t believe me, go see if you can take some flowers. Many times families would send their flowers from a funeral over to the nursing homes to brighten the place and put some beauty out for the seniors to enjoy. Think that’s still happening? No, it is not.
My radio show this week featured what is happening today in nursing homes (KYDN 95.3). The people working in nursing homes are really in trouble. All is not well for them. They are being dictated to as to how to care for older folks which is completely outside of common sense. They are being told they have to lock seniors up. They are being told they have to keep shoving a mask on their face (even in their room when they are by themselves). They are being told to keep their window shut. No fresh air for you, Grandma. COVID-19 might come by lurking at your window and jump in.
All of us running around free is sickening when you look at the lockdown our seniors are in again at this very point in time. Will it get better for them now that we will be going into Fall and Winter during flu season? You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that writing on the wall.
Back to my idea. We have to do something for them now. Now, before winter comes and they have even less hope. Get some plants, get a bird. Even better yet, get 3 plants and 2 birds and put them in your mom’s room. Give her some life in her room. Give her some hope. Give her something to care for. Give her something that depends on her. Give her something to get out of bed for. Give her some value - that her life matters. Give the facility staff something to help her with - an activity. Give her some company. Give her something she can pour her love into. Give her something she can touch and that touches back.
And, call your local health department, your county commissioners, the state health department. Make some noise. Stop rolling over and letting our seniors die in isolation, loneliness and in prison.
God Bless you for taking the time to speak up to at least one person in authority. You reap what you sow. God Bless The Great United States of America where we citizens never give