Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sad + Mad=Heart-Wrenching Combination

The past few days have been a nightmare. If I could list the five things most likely to get to me, almost every one of those heartaches happened within a 36 hour time period. Fortunately, God's grace wrapped me up in a bullet-proof vest before the bad stuff hit. I can't explain it--I just know that left to my own responses I would be a mess. But because I'm confident I'm right where God wants me, I can rest assured that everything is going to be okay.

So, tonight when I was near tears, it wasn't because I didn't get a book deal I really wanted for a client, or a writing gig I wanted for myself. It wasn't because someone misunderstood me or created tension. Not even because of uncertainty for the future, whether for us, or our loved ones. Yet all those trials did hit over the past few days.

What got me near tears was probably a culmination of it all, if I'm being honest. Seeing an innocent elder being abused and disrespected triggered a deep sadness and a passionate anger. I've tried wording it concisely here--to try to explain why this affected me like this, but I can't put it into words. Not yet. It's too fresh. All I know is that Russ and I were left shaken and trembling. It's just too much to have to hear a sweet woman of almost 87 (who is still mentally stable) upset because she feels she's being kidnapped and yanked from all she knows and loves. The wrong ones are being rewarded and she's being penalized--SHE'S the victim. I know there are many sides to the story, but it's NEVER right to treat a senior citizen like she is an object rather than a human being. She called with such a desperate plea in her voice for us to save her, to help her. This, after an 11-day ordeal of trying to get her answers. Adult Protective Services let her down. The government let her down. Her family let her down. The nursing home administration let her down. Who was her advocate?

Russ and I have learned a lot about the "system" through this situation. It's not over yet. I think we are going to get passionate about elder rights. The system is broken. Ageism is wrong. We've got to fix this. And in the mean time, may the Good Lord wrap a shawl of grace around this dear senior saint and let her know she is loved. Bring someone special into her life who will be Jesus to her. Give her hope again. Protect her from evil. May someone pick up the fight wherever she is taken and give voice to her questions and heartaches. Why does it have to be so many states away from here? Only God can help. Only God.


Ausjenny said...

Kathy I do feel for you.I have seen this myself and when an older person is still capable of making decisions but are force against there wishes its not right.
Sometimes I know it has to happen for there own good like my mum who is now in a nursing home but thats because she cant walk and is bed ridden and no way I can lift her or care for her 24/7. But If it wasn't for the accident that caused this she would still be home.
I have seen some of the issues caused by ageism and while mum is in a good place there is still things that could and should be improved.
Praying your friend finds that friend you want her to find.

Janice Thompson said...

Oh, gosh. I have a story for you. Don't think I can do it justice in a comment box. I don't know if you know this or not, but I was actually in a nursing home for several days once. It was billed as a "rehab" hospital and I was sent there after my accident and subsequent surgery because I wasn't well enough to go home. Long story short, it was a nursing home with a "wing" for short-term visitors. My roommate was an 80 year old woman who had alzheimer's. She did NOT get the care she needed in the time I shared the room with her. Her family was wonderful, but the people in the facility? No! Oh, it was horrid. I learned so much that by the third day I checked myself out. I'd honestly blocked the story until I read your post. It would take me a LONG time to share with you all of the things I saw during those three days. Trust me when I say I have a new respect for caring for the elderly now.