A Vista to Grandma
The Alzheimer's facility is located off a main thoroughfare and set back against the county golf course. It is very expensive for the inmates to live here. I go up the main drive and park before the office. Inside is the receptionist, a woman of about sixty. She greets us for the very first time, since we haven't been here before.
We go through a remote controlled door and wend our way to the kitchen area. And there, after three years of having not seen the old lady, she sits at a table with the other mindless, nibbling at some Brussels sprouts and picking listlessly at her meal.
I offer her a cookie that I brought from the reception area. She used to be a big sweet tooth and eat tons of candy, but now she barely even takes a bite of it.
After her small meal, we wait briefly in the lounge where another woman cries out like a baby, lying on the couch, falling asleep. A clever old thing walks up to me and babbles in a language I don't understand, which turns out to be Flemish. She's friendly, though obviously not lucid or sane.
We wheel grandma to her room so as to try and elicit how much of her mind is still left. The result is sad, though not unexpected. She seems to be at least 40% worse off mentally than when she left assisted living to be placed in Alzheimer's.
She thinks she is in England (she lives in the USA) and doesn't recall the husband she was married to for 59 years, but who predeceased her eleven years ago.
Grandma the tyrant is a complete prisoner in her own body. How much longer will she be condemned by genetics and fate to exist in this hideous fashion?