The following situation happened to me last week on the day that my MIL passed away so I just threw it on the backburner because of everything else going on.
Now that life is starting to come back to the "norm" for us I can't get this situation out of my head. It shouldn't bother me so much, nor surprise me, as I've encountered things like this before but this one really just T'd me off.
Last Monday we knew that MIL was dying and, rather than wait until she actually did pass away, hubby and I decided that we would take a much-needed break from the monotony of the hospital bedside and went up to the nursing home where she resided to clean out her belongings and bring them home.
We had been there all of about 15 minutes or so and were just about ready to leave when hubby went out to the nurse's station to ask for a garbage bag. While he was out I heard someone a few doors down the hall explaining to one of the residents that she was from some "official" board overseeing the care given in nursing homes (I forget the actual organization name) and that she was just going to be meandering the halls for a while to see how people were being cared for.
A few minutes later she ended up at my MIL's room doorway, looked at me, and I knew exactly what was coming. She proceeded to give me the same spiel she had just given the last room about overseeing care and told me she would be watching how they took care of ME! I WAS LIVID!!!
First off, I'm 33 years old. The average age of a nursing home resident is about 78! I do realize that there are situations were people as young as I need 24-hour care from other but most of those people are in group home situations living with people much closer to their own age. I wanted to rip into her but instead I just chose to say "I don't live here...." and "Just because I'm sitting in a wheelchair..." and didn't get a chance to finish my statement when she piped up and said "Oh, no. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to insinuate that you're a resident here." Like HECK she didn't!
I've encountered plenty of situations where people make assumptions about a person based on their appearance or physical being but the thing that really got me about this one was that this lady works in the healthcare industry. In this day and age, with so many differences out there, how can one merely assume that a person is unable to care for themself just because they sit 24/7? Obviously, I can't do everything that a walking person can but based on a few people I've known over the years I can tell you that I accomplish more in one day than some do in a week!
Well, the family is home now. I've gotten that off of my chest so I suppose I should gain some composure and go out there to greet them with a smile and give them a decent meal.