The smell. My God, I literally had vomit rising in my throat on several occasions and had to make a speedy exit back to fresh (ish) air! I have a sensitive nose. I do. Handy for detecting subtle scents and flavours. But unfortunately on this occasion, I was picking up a combination of shit, piss, puke, floral air 'fresheners', bleach, meat, boiled veg and yesterday's stale version of all of the above! The only solution was to turn off my nose and breathe through my mouth, and put up with the hot, thick air.
I have upmost respect for the men and women who work in these places. And my Dad is lucky enough to live in one of the 'best'... How they manage to remain upbeat and positive beats me. In the two weeks that I visited Dad, I lost count of the times we had to call them to help out at 'toilet time' and they would happily roll on a pair of latex gloves and deal with dirty nappies, accidents, nappy rash and soiled clothes. If I ever get like that, kill me!
The saddest thing though, wasn't the old people in various states of illness, aging, dementia, confusion, depression and loneliness, it was the younger residents. People in their 30-50s in palliative care, trapped in useless, trembling bodies, but with alert eyes that look so desperate for relief or for their former lives. So unbelievably depressing.
I'm sorry for putting you all in a downer with this grim post. But blimey life can be so cruel! And don't even get me started on the subject of euthanasia! Human's are sick bastards for insisting on prolonging a life of suffering and humiliation.
So, my words of advice people, is to make the bloody most of it for as long as you can!
I don't want to get old!!!