Friday, May 14, 2010

Elderly Escape Artists.

Story A -
Once upon a time, before I got married, I was trying to get to an appointment, but was running late. Making matters worse, I realized I had forgotten an important document I needed for the appointment. I quickly pulled into the first place I saw - a senior home - to search my car.

While checking my trunk for this document, an elderly woman walked out carrying a weekend bag and called to me "Excuse me, Miss? Would you perhaps be able to give me a ride?" Startled, I just stared as a nurse came running out after the elderly woman yelling "Where do you think you're going?" The sweet elderly woman turned nasty and yelled back "I'm going HOME!"

At this point I jumped into me car and sped off.

Story B -
Several years ago, as I was commuting home from work/school, I heard a news story about a elderly man who had escaped from a local senior center and was still missing. He was "last seen wearing all white and using a walker."

I laughed out loud thinking, "how far could he have gotten, really." And then I called my Grandmother in Utah to make a joke about my Grandfather.

Story C - forward to today (Friday). I got the following text from my parents: "Grandpa escaped. They found him a mile away at a bus stop."

Some background: just days after Lola was born, my grandfather had both a heart attack and a stroke. Awesome. He's doing relatively okay, but can't really speak. Well, he seems to be speaking Spanish okay (a language he briefly studied in high school), but he isn't able to really communicate - which is REALLY frustrating for him. Plus, he HATES going to the doctor and LOATHES hospitals. Being stuck in a V.A. hospital without being able to communicate has been torture for him. Plus, his brain is The man just had a stroke, after all. To say Gramps has not been a cooperative patient might be a tad of an understatement. From what I've heard he has retaliated against his nurses (i.e. punched one of them), has repeatedly disconnected himself from all the tubes keeping him well, and has made several attempts to escape. At one point it took four male nurses to coral him. (He may be pushing 80, but the man is strong.)

Anyway, around 6:00am this morning, the attending nurse noticed he was no longer in his bed. Or anywhere. Like I said, they eventually found him a mile away at a bus stop, evidently trying to go home.

Sigh. These things are always funny until it's someone you know.

(Alright, it's a little funny even if it is some one you know.)

I love you, Gramps.


Bek said...

this is awesome!

we all just wanna be home. it's better there.

HLW said...

I used to work at a nursing home. There were a series of housing, each one requiring more and more care, the nursing home I worked in being, basically, the last stop. There was one elderly woman who broke my heart every night; she couldn't understand why we would make her stay there and repeated told us that her family would deal with us when they got there. The sad truth was that, what little family she had left, didn't want anything to do with her. It's hard watching now I work at a home for adults with mental illness...also a hard (fun/demanding/stressful/funny/amazing/rewarding) job. Best wishes for your grandfather!