The Way I See It-

The way I see it, our senior citizens need to be revered, honoured and well taken care of.
Earlier this week, I had a very interesting conversation with a friend about our senior citizens.
We spoke about the care of the elderly and my friend was adamant, just like the Hon. Eric Evelyn and his predecessor, Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, that our seniors should be taken care of at home, in their accustomed environment.
However, I pointed out to him that sometimes that may not be possible and sometimes, the family may have to resort to placing them into one of the seniors’ homes on the island.
I pointed to the situation with my own family.
My mom was generally the strong one and as she and my dad aged, I recalled hearing her say that she would hope to die after my dad, because she wanted to look after him well.
Dad started to deteriorate and Mom was by his side.
Then one day, out of the blue, Mom ‘took in!’
Dad could not help and I was first on the scene and even though I got my Mom back on the bed, I could not bring myself to bathing her and clothing her before I took her to the hospital. It was just not in my psyche.
Fortunately, my sister in law came and did it for me and then I lifted my Mom to my vehicle and took her to the hospital.
She never recovered sufficiently to return home.
One of my brothers took in my dad and we all teamed up to look after him, while we eventually had to relocate Mom to the Flambuoyant home, where she got tremendous care and affection, until she passed away.
In Dad’s case, as he deteriorated, we eventually got someone to look after him during work hours but then had to resort to getting him to the St. George’s and St. John’s seniors’ home, where he got really good care as well, until he died.
When my parents were at the homes, apart from assisting with the monthly payments, I made it a point of duty to visit them every day, as it was possible.
Those moments were priceless.
We chatted; had the occasional laughs; prayed together…..and then in both cases, there came a time, when the verbal communications ceased.
A squeeze of the hand, was sometimes the only response.
Those were sad times.
I was at home getting ready to go to church, one Sabbath morning, when I got the call. My mother had passed. Church activities were postponed for that day, as we as a family gathered at her bedside.
I cried.
A few years later, it was the Friday afternoon that I visited my dad. He could not communicate, but I sat with him, prayed for him, while holding his hand and left. He was not looking good.
I called my family members and told them they needed to visit him quickly.
So, when that wonderful Nurse Ima called at 3 am the following morning-another Sabbath, before she could proceed, I said: ‘He is gone.’
She said: ‘How you know that?’
I said: ‘You would not be calling me this time of morning to tell me that he needs pampers!’
Well I newa!
She confirmed that Dad had indeed passed.
I cried
So, I am convinced that with all of the hard work and sacrifices that our parents put in on our behalf, we should in turn look out for them in a really good way, when they cannot look out for themselves.
Yes, I agree. If you can take care of them in their accustomed home environment, that is the best way to go, because some seniors absolutely do not want to leave their homes.
However, I think that the next best bet, is to get them into one of the local caregiving homes. The folks who work there are absolutely fantastic!
Some of the stories I have heard about how some seniors are treated, are absolutely outrageous.
I have heard of seniors who are tossed and turned by their children—dragged and pulled and in one case cuffed, because the man was not responding in the manner that was expected.
Well I newa!
I have also heard stories about seniors who are virtually robbed at institutions such as banks.
The story is told of a particular senior who endeared herself to a particular beautiful Teller at a bank and every time she went to that bank, she would go to no one else, but that Teller.
The Teller would look after her nicely and would fill out the necessary forms and the senior would only have to sign.
It was discovered long after, that let’s say the senior asked her to write up a $500.00 withdrawal, she would put $1,000.00 and so on and only give the senior what she asked for.
The most hurtful part of the story is that when the transactions were completed, the senior would give her like a $50.00 and tell her to keep that for her ‘wonderful assistance.’
Well I newa!
How heartless can people get?
Mind you, don’t get me wrong. Looking after seniors is not the sassiest task in the world.
You must have the patience of Job and some…
They may become forgetful (and it will really hurt if they get to the point when they don’t remember you; they will need pampers; need constant cleaning like babies……..
I mean, it is not easy and it can also be expensive.. However, back of your head, always remember that they took care of you and purpose in your heart, that you will do the same for them and some.
In reality, that is what God desires of us and the stark reality is—our turn will come, if life lasts.
Me? If I had a choice to live long, I would love to be able to cook for myself, bathe myself; drive my vehicle and even play a little Cricket now and then, at 90 plus. I don’t want any knockbout from anybody, but only God knows what my lot will be.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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