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Reply to "My Dad"

Robin (Angel)

I read your spotlight, and you have been and still are an inspiration to all caregivers.

As you work through the healing proces, I do hope you can continue to advocate better care for our elderly. I, too, have seen the "care" our elderly have received in facilities ... all too often it either borders on criminal or is criminal. Our elderly deserve to live out their lives with dignity and respect.

I was a Den Mother for a Cub Scout Troop many years ago. One Christmas, I made copies of Christmas carols for all the boys, baked a ton of cookies, and on Christmas Eve, took them to the 3rd floor of the local hospital. One entire wing of the floor housed elderly patients. The nurses were rather taken aback, but allowed us to go ahead. There was one elderly gentleman sitting in a wheelchair by the nurses' station. He had such a forlourned look on his face and kept his head down the entire time.

I took the boys down the hall and they were just singing their precious little hearts off! The patients who could came to their doors. Faces lit up, laughter filled the hall, and tears streamed down aged, wrinkled faces. I wondered how long it had been since they had heard children singing.

The boys would occasionally stop and talk with a patient, and even allow hugs. As we got ready to take the elevator, the old man in the wheelchair looked up and reached out a trembling hand. The smallest boy walked over to him and took the old man's hand and wished him a Merry Christmas. Then, he gave the old gent a loving hug and his copies of the songs.

I asked the nurse if he had any one visiting him and she said no, not until we came along. I took the boys visiting several more times, until one day the old man was no longer sitting by the station. He had passed on, but they had found the copies of the Christmas songs in his bedstand. My boys had become quite fond of the old man, but I told them that he had passed in peace and contentment because of their love for him.

I don't mean to ramble here, but what you said about the quality of care for our elderly should be of paramount concern for everyone.

My prayers are with you on your journey.