Nursing Homes ~ The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

After talking with Pastor Al briefly on Sunday, it got me thinking about life when I will grow old, if the LORD will permit me to.  Pastor Al stated that many senior citizens continue to have vibrant lives until about 80 years old.  Then after that, it doesn’t seem like a very good quality of life that they have.  I told him the first story here in this line up, and he got a kick out of it.  I didn’t tell him the next two.
 
I have a nursing home on my route, as I have mentioned before.  Sometimes it’s humdrum there, other times there is some excitement.  I thought I would devote one post to conveying three stories of things that have happened there.  Let us focus for a little bit on the possibility that one of our relatives will check us into a nursing home when we grow old and are unable to take care of ourselves any longer.  Perhaps someone that we love very much will have to be checked in to a nursing home and we will be the one making the decision.
 
The Good ~ Some senior citizens are still living it up.
 
I walked into the nursing home to see that one of the residents was being walked by one of the caregivers down the hall.  This elderly lady was probably one of the oldest people living there, but was still able to walk just fine.  Since there are a variety of mental capacities amongst the residents, I usually guard my conversation when addressing them if they talk to me.  To my surprise, the resident being walked started walking right toward me, reached out her hand and put it on my arm, looked me right in the eye, and said in a firm voice, "Can you give me a thousand dollars?"  In a very cheery, inquisitive voice I answered, "A thousand dollars?"  She responded, "Yes, I need a thousand dollars, RIGHT NOW."  In my most non-threatening voice I replied, "You need a thousand dollars, huh?"  By this time I was beginning to walk away from her and the caregiver was continuing with this lady down the hall.  I glanced back and saw that the resident lady began laughing and joking to the caregiver about the joke she had just played on me.  She was obviously in her right mind, but for a second was acting like a crazy, old lady just to see if I would believe her.  She got the biggest kick out of doing that.  Some senior citizens are still living it up.
 
The Bad ~ Not everyone in the nursing home wants to be there and considers it their home.
 
This was earlier this week.  As I was walking around the corner of the outside of the building I noticed there was a resident with her coat on, her hat on, and a few belongings with her including her purse.  One of the caregivers was walking beside her.  The resident was obviously trying to "lose" the caregiver.  She started walking out into the street away from the nursing home.  One of the administrators was walking down the sidewalk toward the resident and spoke very nicely to her (names are substituted), "Thelma, I have Tricia on the phone, would you like to speak with her?"  The woman confidently responded, "No – I – Do – Not."  It was obvious by her response that she was completely in her right mind and wasn’t wandering off from having a memory lapse.  A minute later a police car pulled up and I heard him explaining to another adminstrator who was also outside to monitor the situation that there wasn’t a whole lot he could do about the situation.  This woman obviously didn’t view the nursing home as her home and wanted to leave, even if it is the middle of winter.
 
The Ugly ~ Senior citizens are still sinners.
 
It’s sad to see after so many years of being enslaved to sin that these senior citizens who are not Christians are still enslaved by sin.  Many older folks have learned over the years how to suppress certain types of sin to allow them to get along in society quite well, but they are still enslaved to Satan in certain areas.  There are sins that they will never have the power to quit.  There is a woman who is confined to a wheelchair.  She can steer herself around just fine.  She is a heavy smoker as well, but no smoking is permitted within the nursing home.  Many times when I come around to deliver, she has steered her wheelchair outside and is smoking cigarettes.  There are others with foul language issues.  It also reminds me of another route I used to be on where an extremely old man still received pornographic magazines at his home.  It made me think, "All these years and he still can’t kick the habit."  There is a fleshly joy in many sins, but with harmful consequences.  With these senior citizens, it’s like the sin is still in control but with no joy, only consquences.  I believe that’s what hell will be like.  Just because sinners will be cast into hell doesn’t mean that they will stop sinning.  Hell will be filled with senior citizens since senior citizens are still sinners.
 
This post may sound harsh, but that’s reality.  Where will we be when we grow old?
 
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
 
-The Orange Mailman
 
P.S.  If it weren’t for the cross, I wouldn’t have been able to kick the habit either.  Praise God for His mercy to me.
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