Wednesday, 17 October 2012

On being a resident

Audrey has not been a resident for long; just two weeks. Before she became a resident Audrey was a grandma, and a mother, a friend, and a customer, a gardener, and a listener. Audrey enjoyed the book reading on Radio National after her lunch of Saos and vegemite. She enjoyed the nodding purple heads of the row of Primulas that lined the footpath on the way to collect the post. She inched her way down to the letter box after she heard the postie's whistle a bit after elevenses. Now Audrey is a resident. She blows the candles out on the birthday cake for all the residents who had a birthday in October. Audrey's birthday was in October. Audrey could not remember her age. She just knew she was old.


Kay L. Davies said...

"Residents" of care facilities do lose their identity, don't they?
I tried staying with my parents, first in my brother's house, then in an apartment, when they were first diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but the plan was a colossal failure.
After Dad was kicked out of assisted living for the third time, we knew he needed more care. A month after a room opened up for him in the dementia unit of a place in our old neighbourhood, a room became available in another wing, for Mom.
The staff in both wings were helpful and supportive, and we could visit any time we wanted, for as long as we wanted. We decorated both rooms to reflect their personalities and their pastimes, past and present.
When we saw Dad tearing pages out of books he had written, we knew we'd made the right decision, difficult though it had been.

Joan Elizabeth said...

So Julie is the description of Audrey's former life something you imagine or something she actually remembered better than her age?

I like the description either way.

Julie said...

I made up the entire thing. Except her name was Audrey, and she blew out the candles because she was new to the facility and her birthday was in October.

rallentanda said...

Do they still make Saos? Or am I losing my mind?:)