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Residents who stayed behind had fun too

July 23, 2012
by Kathleen Mears
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Last Friday was this facility's second Summer Fun Day. A cookout was held at a local park promising lots of food, pop and even a DJ. 

Since I am not much of a picnic person, and had much to do, I decided to remain behind. Despite that, many staff all but begged me to go. I kidded them by saying, "I do not want to fight the flies for my food.”

I was in my room during the getting ready, getting loaded and actually going parts which occurred at midmorning. With over 40 residents here, I knew the facility van—which holds 14—would have to make multiple trips. Or, some residents would travel in staff vehicles.

Staff took severely disabled residents and others who hardly ever get out of the facility except for medical appointments.

Since we "stay behinds" would also get the hamburger/hotdog picnic lunch, I headed to the feed dining room. When I arrived, both dining rooms were virtually deserted. An aide asked me to move to the main dining room.  At first I did not want to leave my view of the neighborhood. But I reneged because five or six residents looked strange sitting sporadically in that large room. 

Since most of those residents like a quiet environment, they did not mind remaining behind. Some of us liked the aide to resident ratio. Two aides to eight residents was "care heaven.”

One male resident was looking forward to Summer Fun Day because he was guaranteed two plates of food. He later exclaimed, "I just love the quiet. It is almost unbelievable!"

He was right. There were no PA announcements, rock or rap. We all enjoyed the sounds of silence during our few hours alone in the building.

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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...