As I walked through the entry at The Estates, something caught my eye, and my ire.
Across the hallway from the sign-in sheet at the assisted living facility (whose real name is NOT “The Estates”) was a posterboard on an easel. It stood as the epitome of what I abhor in today’s elder-care: In large print, across the top of the poster, in hand rendered “bubble-lettering” were the words “The Estates Welcomes The Easter Bunny!”
My stomach turned over as I approached the poster thinking, “This must have been constructed by an inordinately skilled recreational therapist.”
Our seniors deserve better than this. They deserve (and have earned) our respect and should not to be treated like a spoiled 4 year old at the mall. But still, here it was, a poster board with pictures of the prisoners posing for photos and sitting on the lap of a man dressed up as the Easter Bunny. I sighed deeply as I moved closer, but was surprised when I came up to the display.
The pictures shocked me. The prisoners were smiling. Some even seemed to be laughing. They did not look miserable, but instead appeared playful.
There is a lesson here for me somewhere, but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out this morning. I am certain, however, that I will not ask my patient’s to sit on my lap Monday when they tell me their story.