Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bea's Retreat

Yesterday’s Frontline Living Old explained the coming crisis for the elderly in our society. Hopefully this PBS documentary will motivate new thinking and solutions. The Web site has a great selection of resource material. Individuals do have many questions on elderly care. Here are the latest Internet searches that led strangers to Bea’s Bedside:

• Disorientation in elderly (UK)
• Handling dementia and hallucinations of elderly
• How to position bedridden person to prevent bedsores
• When elderly parent withdraws and won’t communicate.

This search seems particularly relevant today.

Lisa and I talk in whispers. Bea is in a quiet place. She may lie still on the bed between us, but her spirit is wandering as Lisa again massages her toes, cold. At the end of life, such a retreat is normal and must be respected.

“Are you ready for her to leave?” Sven asks later.

A child is never ready, no matter how much sense the departing makes. An orphan I will be, but one who was loved intensely.

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