Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Nursing Home Plan

“Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.  I am the Lord.”  Leviticus 19:32

I always say that I had children so I would have someone to put me in a nice nursing home someday.  I have no denials about getting old and needing round-the-clock convalescent care.  In fact, I intend to be a huge burden!  Most likely I will lose my mind, but no one will really be able to tell the difference.  And I intend to start drinking once I enter the nursing home.  I’m going straight for the hard liquor.  I figure if, by then, I will have held off for 80 years or so, what’s the use in holding out any longer?  Plus, maybe it will make my days go faster. 

I worked in the kitchen at a nursing home for about four years during my teenage hood, so I have no myths or false assumptions about what a nursing home entails.  And, I have every intent of using every amenity to the best of my ability.  In fact, sometimes I wish I had one of those emergency nurse buttons now.  She could bring me a drink of water when I’m already in bed… 

Anyhow, Grandma Hazel has been in a nursing home or like facility for numerous years, but due to failing condition and several episodes, she has moved several times in the past couple of years.  The kids and I have visited her at least once at each of the facilities she’s been at.  The first was an assisted living facility and had a big dog that the kids liked to pet.  The second was a “memory” facility where one lady asked my youngest if his name was Thomas at least 97 times while we were there because he was wearing a Thomas the Train shirt.  The third was more of a nursing home facility that had birds in a glass cabinet that the residents could sit and watch.  And her current facility is homey and has a giant fish aquarium in one of the sitting areas. 

Yes, some of the people are scary.  Yes, they are desperate for visitors.  Yes, you can sometimes smell pee.  Let’s just get all that out there!  I think those are the usual reasons people tend to shy away from regular visits to the nursing home. 

So on Monday night, my 7YO tells me, “Mommy, I love you.  I’ll make sure you go to a nice nursing home.” 

Have I groomed him well or what?

And then he starts talking about what my nursing home will be like.  And then he decides that he’ll build me a nursing home.  Here will be some of the amenities:
  • A swimming pool and hot tub
  • My own cat
  • A TV in my room
  • A fish aquarium in my room, with a larger aquarium in the hall to hold extras, in case my fish die
  • Meatloaf on Sundays (The meatloaf cracks me up because I think I’ve made meatloaf maybe once in his life.)

Then he asks, “How do the people who work at the nursing home go to church on Sundays since the nursing home still has to be open?”

I told him that the workers who were working didn’t go to church because they had to be there, but that sometimes a pastor would come to the nursing home to have a church service for the people there.

“That’s what we’ll do, then,” he said.  “We’ll have all the people lined up and they can just raise their hands if they need help.”

He’s got it all figured out.

Hopefully, we’ll only have grape juice at communion.    

He also said we would only have girl nurses because girl nurses are nice.  I told him boy nurses could be nice too.  He said, “Okay, we’ll have boy nurses too,” and decided that his brother would do the hiring.

“I hope you don’t have to have a wheelchair,” he told me. 

“Me too,” I said.  I’ve spent enough time sitting on my butt as it is. 

“I’ll say a prayer that you don’t have to have a wheelchair,” he told me right before bed.

“Say one too that it will be a LONG time before Mommy has to go to the nursing home,” I told him.


Now everyone else pray that his plans pan out!


  1. You are so lucky to have such nice kids! Or maybe it's not lucky, but skill
    I'll be back in the pool next week. Remind me to tell you about my Grandmother and her nursing homes.

  2. Ahh. It's so nice of your little man to come up with plans to build you your own nursing home. Ahh yes, most of our friends who stay at such facilities yearn for visitors. Your post made me smile and ponder upon my kids' plan for my nursing home needs in the years to come.

  3. How sweet of your 7 year old to think about your retirement future. And what he thought was actually good! The swimming pool is what I like the most. That way, you can still keep healthy and active, even after you’ve retired. After all, you should be still caring for your body, no matter what age you are.

  4. As a parent, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing your kids become established people. Your son has a very nice plan for you, and that's amazing vision for your nursing home, coming from a seven-year old. You definitely raised him well. :)


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