Unspoken Needs This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   AsI walked into my mother's nursing home today, I saw the usual: women inwheelchairs yelling words that weren't really words, old men shakingfrom head to toe and nurses forgetful that these"responsibilities" are actually people. The halls smelled ofurine and other foul body odors.

I hate going to visit my motherbecause of her surroundings. It seems to me that if you hate to visitsomeone you love because of their surroundings, the place must really beunbearable. I dread going because I have to see her in this terribleenvironment.

My mother cannot speak or walk and probably neverwill. I'd hate to see her spend the rest of her life in this nursinghome, but she could never come home to live with my father and mebe-cause we aren't able to give her the care she needs. The nurses arecapable, but that doesn't mean they do it in a hurry.

The otherday I went to visit my mother and she signaled that she needed to bechanged. I told one of the physical therapists, who ignored me. He beganyell-ing that he should not be working that hallway. I stayed calm, but10 minutes later when my mother was still sitting in urine, I asked oneof the nurses, who told me they were still discussing who would workthat hallway. Then she turned her back to me! I be-gan losing control. Iwent back and told my mother it would be just a moment. Saying that, Ifelt like I had become one of them. Just as I was about to take care ofthings myself, the nurse finally came. I looked at my watch - 22 minuteshad gone by. I left the room and had a very heated discussion with oneof the nurses.

The point is that these people are not babies.They still have emotions and their brains still work. By leaving mymother like that, the nurses are taking away her self-esteem. Whatbothered me most was that my mother was not even irritated. She hasbecome so used to being ignored by those who are supposed to take careof her that she doesn't even attempt to get their attention. I wasignored once, but my mother is always ignored. Our family is paying forher care; why must the employees act like doing their job is such achore? Nurses who get irritated with patients all the time shouldconsider a new career.

My mother is 52 and she lives with80-year-olds. If it were up to me, patients wouldn't be classified bytheir ailments but by their common interests. My mother still enjoys thesame things she always has; when she comes home on weekends, she startscleaning the kitchen or spying in my room. If my mother has to live in anursing home, she should not live where everything that has anything todo with life is hidden. The residents should do what they are capableof. Motivation and goals make life worth living.

I sincerely hopethere will be a change in today's medical care, which is a problem forus all since we will all get old. Unless this problem is addressed soonwe will be the ones cared for by uncaring people.

In a worldcontrolled by the medical industry, most of us go with the flow. If thistrend persists, America will be ruled by a medical industry monarchy,and medical care is the one thing people can't do without. If peopleaddress the issue now, we will live to see a society where medical billsare paid for with taxes and patients won't have to wait for care theydesperately need.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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