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When resident room floors are cleaned

September 4, 2012
by Kathleen Mears
| Reprints

On my way to breakfast the other day, Paul was rolling nervously up and down where furniture lined the front hall. His room’s floor was being stripped and waxed, and he wanted to know when it would be finished.  It was 8 a.m. and maintenance said they would be done by 4 p.m. He said, “You will make sure that everything’s put back where it was?” They nodded at him and he moved away.

Paul wanted to know which bathroom he could use. He was told the men’s shower room and a resident’s room (who was out for the day) were both available. Though Paul seemed a bit calmer, I could see the worry lines on his face. He asked questions about his room after breakfast. Then he hovered in the hall outside his room.

The staff felt Paul was worrying unnecessarily. But I could definitely understand his feelings. In over 16 years living in nursing homes I have spent many tense days waiting while my room’s floor was cleaned.

My previous facility tried to make sure my computer was set up in another room.  Though I did not have the Internet, I could write or play games while waiting.  After a few years, I went out when my floor was cleaned. 

For the last few weeks maintenance has been doing resident room floors. I have made my way around the furniture in the hallway, while maintenance men dashed between rooms stripping and buffing the floors.  Some residents sat nervously on their beds in the hallway. They were told they could lie down, and some did. But others, feeling uncomfortable, wandered the hallways. 

My room’s floor will be cleaned and I am waiting to hear when. Since I have more stuff than most other residents, I am a bit nervous. I want things kept together. I also want my computer to be put in a safe place.

I am hoping my room can be finished by 4 p.m. I am planning to go out that day to save myself some angst. Then, when I return, maintenance and my driver will put things back where they were.

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Kathleen Mears

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Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...