The hospice nurse came, assessed and could give little direction (I needed a timeline, a sense of direction). In the end, she said a week, tomorrow, (a shrug). The vitals have dropped. She is ‘comfortable’ for the headaches. It is truly a waiting game now extended out almost a week now and it seems weeks. I must adjust to this evolving situation. My aunt has stepped into the corridor, looking toward that door, standing still for now.
I was sitting at the care facility when the phone rang. The lady answered and I could tell it was someone who use to come by to visit their loved one. I could hear the woman on the other end say she often thinks of the care giver. When the lady hung up, she was weeping. I looked away, but she brought me into her feelings. The lady on the phone was the daughter of a mother and father who had spent eight years, together at the facility, both suffering from dementia and other maladies.
This Fall the mother passed away here at the facility; the father had already passed earlier this year before my aunt’s arrival. I went to the funeral out of respect for the woman. What became evident was the residents had become like family to the care givers. Actually, they invest so much effort and heart into the residents that they are like family. The adult foster home setting is akin to them being in a home and part of the family. When you visit, the residents recognize you and engage you like family.
Today, I noticed the care giver was concerned over one of the males seeming lethargic, especially through music, as he usually belts out his best off key voice. Today, he dozed and seemed disoriented. He has been here six years. He is family.
The care giver dried her eyes and went in to tend to my aunt. From the back, I could see she raised her hand to her eyes several times more. My heart, mind and soul doesn’t have the capacity for such emotional energy. Thank God hers and her staff does.