Posted December 24, 2007

This post is my real life story related to the last post about medications in nursing homes.

When I worked in an assisted living building we had a lovely little lady in our dementia area.  She loved ballet.  It was what the past 80+ years of her life had been devoted to.   Even though she started to become more frail, she still wanted to dance (or more correctly – TEACH us to dance because she told us we were all horrid – she thought we were actual ballerinas).  I loved to go upstairs and dance with her.  But she started to fall more.  And more.  Her niece was informed by (a doctor??) that she would be better off in a nursing home.  I was outraged.. how could them prevent a fall any more than we could – they don’t give more attention to the patients, they don’t have more staffing??

After she was moved out I decided to go visit her at her new nursing home for one last dance.  Unfortunately when I got there she was so drugged up she had no idea I was even talking to her.  She was in a wheelchair with a “tray” attached to it – both to catch her drool and to prevent her from getting out of the chair and dancing.

Don’t you think that this woman who devoted all of her life to dance would have rather fallen to her death while dancing then just fading away in an over medicated stupor?  I think so.

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