Students And Elderly Co-inhabiting Nursing Homes

More retirement and nursing homes are asking college students to move in, an arrangement that benefits everyone.

The idea is simple, elderly need to live in nursing homes because they need the care. Young people live in nursing homes because they need an affordable place to stay while they are studying.

A Dutch nursing facility was suffering from high vacancy due to a law that had been passed which excluded people that were 80+ but in good health. I see why this is a thing though, if I am in good health I wouldn’t want to live in a nursing home.

But for those that need to live their the environment can become monotonous. I understand that too. Living in a hospital or a long-term care home can be very disorientating experience that leaves residents in a state of mental decline. Could you imagine, your world, once big and full suddenly shrinks down into your room, your bed, and if you are still in good enough health the lobby? This type of monotony blends one day into another, melting the last years of your life away. That is why this arrangement is so beneficial to everyone. Any mental stimulation can be useful, it helps stave off depression which is common in nursing homes, and it might even hold some forms of dementia at bay.

I once stayed for a full month in a hospital, most of it was in this dream like state, yet when I was awake I literally do not remember what happened during those four weeks.

Some of the questions that I was asked were: “do you know you name,” “do you know where you are,” and “do you know what day it is?” These are all standard question caregivers ask to check if you are confused. Honestly I had trouble recalling the date, even when I would see it on my phone.

Since I was young they didn’t worry too much. The nurses told me if I were a more long-term patient they might have had to do something. But since I would be leaving they considered me to be mentally fine when I got the year correct.

When I’m 80, if I get to live that long, I want to be in my room playing games and spending time with my friends even if it is in some sort of VR. When my grandmother got old and couldn’t move around that much she watched Wheel Of Fortune, later she would sit in the lobby of the nursing home and watch the people that came in through the front door.

I won’t have that luxury in most cases since I don’t see myself with a retirement plan that can afford it.

This is my fear and I am a 20 something.

Super Bugs Aren’t Invincible

Researches have found that super bugs can still be killed, one only needs to modify the existing drugs. Scientists have discovered a way to modify the currently ineffective antibiotics to make them work once more.

One thing that I am concerned about is that they will continue to modify themselves. This will bring us back to the same impasse that we are now in the near future. Over a number of generations (how many is irrelevant) they will be able to once again beat the drugs that we have to treat them. While I don’t know a lot about the topic I do know that as they become more resistant they also reproduce at a slower rate than the less resistant ones. While resistant bugs have to spend extra resources becoming resistant, these factors are still less of a hurdle than finding new forms of treatment.

What this means for us is that while it isn’t an immediate fix we’re still gradually winning the fight.

Trapped Inside

I spent a horrible two weeks in an almost sedated like state when I had pneumonia. I felt like I was trapped in this half waking, half dream like state that was both nightmarish. I thought that it was a side effect of the illness.

Years later I was fortunate enough to hear a talk from a doctor, who I respect. She told about how she spent four weeks on a ventilator after an injury. Much of the time she was on the ventilator she was sedated and throughout the ordeal she was paralyzed. Like with my experience she could intermittently hear things, sounds that were familiar, fragments of conversations, but in this same dream or nightmare like state.

Fortunately for me I had a less nightmarish version of the same experience. Due to the nature of the injuries the nurses and doctors would often need to do painful things to her. THis included changing bandages and various surgery. Over the course of the time these people’s voices started to become part of the nightmare. These were colleges that she had known for a long time, some for as long as twenty years. Since she was aware the were also able to hear what their state was like. They would constantly hear the diagnosis and prognosis about themselves – things that would haunt them when the voices were gone. Kidney failure, organ failure, and that they had died for a moment.

While the voices were present, not all of them were bad. She remembers warm hands on her, reassuring and loving voices from family and friends. Voices that were almost angelic and encouraged them to come back. Her brother even confessed a wrong that he had done to her while they were growing up and because of that they were able to restart their relationship that had broken off years before the accident.

While you may be asking yourself why I am telling you this, I wanted to share two experiences that show you that while they may be unconscious they can still perceive your words. NO matter how scary you think that it is – please talk to your loved one as if they can hear you! Otherwise they may be more alone.