Category Archives: Nursing Home

Thoughts on Turning Sixty-Eight

For the past few weeks I have been teaching a Bible class for older folks.  I don’t believe there is anyone in the class under 65 or so.  Since, in a few days I will be the ripe old age of 68, I feel right at home.  At the moment, we are working our way through Leviticus, one of those seldom-studied books.  It’s full of instructions for all kinds of offerings enabling a holy God to live among a very unholy people.  A lot could be said about that but, at the moment, I am thinking more about age than holiness.

Old age is, among other things, interesting.  For one thing, sitting still, I don’t feel old.  It is only when I get up and try to move around quickly that my body reminds me that it has seen better days.  I wake up in the morning with plans to accomplish the same things I did at, say, forty.  As the day progresses, reality sets in: I’m nowhere near the capabilities of forty.  It is disappointing.  Still, I keep at it as best I can.

One of my older-than-me friends tells me there are perks that come along with age.  People want to help you.  They open doors for you and ask if you need a hand.  Young women smile at you and don’t consider you a threat.  You get senior discounts.  That’s all I can think of right now.  I think, however, I would trade these “perks” for more “pep.”  Yes, I would trade it all for pain-free hips, knees, a well-behaved back, and being considered more dangerous in the eyes of young women.

The ranks of the “older folks” are bursting at the seams.  The solvency of Social Security and Medicare systems are threatened.  I notice more and more advertisements aimed our way.  Care facilities for older folks (skilled nursing, assisted living, etc.) are popping up everywhere.  Movies are being made about old codgers and biddies (good news for our aging actors).  I’m glad I don’t have to go through this “aging process” alone.

So how should you young folks respond to all this?  Well, Leviticus provides a good answer.  “You shall rise before the gray-headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32).  OK, I know it’s the Old Testament and the Law of Moses and all that but I still think it’s a good idea.

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Filed under Aging, honor, Humor, Meaning of Life, Men's Issues, Nursing Home, Respect, Thinking, Whitsett News

Lunch with Dad at Table Fifteen

I see wheelchairs everywhere…some leg-powered some arm-powered.  The room is packed with people waiting expectantly for food.  A few have dozed off, chin on bibs.  One lady has her head on the table…seemingly lifeless.  There’s not much conversation.  Recorded Christmas music issues from a boom box balanced on a wooden podium in the background.

I observe two sorts of staff: indifferent and attentive…the attentive ones passing out an occasional hug to grateful residents.

The diners come in all shapes, sizes and conditions…some with their wits, some obviously without.  As far as I can tell everyone except the staff is white…no blacks or Hispanics in sight.

We are joined at table 15 by Mary…impatient for her food.  Soon she will be impatient to be taken back to her room complaining of back pain.  I try to talk to her but she is not in the mood.

Behind us an orderly softly sings Christmas carols with each phrase in a different key.

Finally, the trays begin arriving and the lady who had her head on the table comes to life and begins doing slow-motion wheelchair wheelies.

The food is nutritious and good.  I am grateful.

As lunch is consumed (not in whole but the part) the diners disappear one-by-one back into the maze of halls to find their rooms.

Is this my future?  I don’t aspire to lunch or any other meal in such circumstances.   Nevertheless, if Jesus tarries it is probably the lot of many of us.  Maybe I’ll be the one with my head on the table.  Even so, come Lord Jesus!

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Filed under Aging, Health Care, Nursing Home, Random Thoughts