Thursday, May 27, 2010

Unclear on the Concept

May 27, 2010

OK, so I asked the director of my mom’s nursing home if anybody on staff could provide activities that will get Mom up and moving. I mentioned that we play whiffleball and putt with a plastic kid’s putter. Not only is activity good for combating diabetes, but these activities also help with eye-hand coordination. Other residents would be welcome to join in.

The director said that they couldn’t do it, because Mom might hurt herself or somebody else by randomly swinging the bat or the putter, since she couldn’t see.

Of course she can see! Did the woman seriously think I was lobbing whiffleballs at my 80-year-old mother on the off-chance that she might actually connect with one?

Picture it: “OK, Mom, you missed that one. Let’s try again. Ready?...Ooh, that must have hurt!”

And why didn’t she know that my mother can see?

I can see. I can see a nursing home's five-star rating circling the drain…


In defense of my adopted state, I should mention that the nursing home is not in Idaho, but in another state, where most of the family lives. The family does spend time with Mom, but we thought that this sort of physical activity might be helpful, not only to keep people healthy, but to combat depression (more Zoloft, anyone?) and help keep up brain acuity.

It would also add a bright spot to people’s day, in a situation where “caring for the elderly” seems to depend on dosing them with pharmaceuticals and confining them to wheelchairs to make it easier to handle them.

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