The woman writes, but only for herself, she says. “Why?” I can’t remember her answer. My thoughts stayed on the question, wondering why we don’t connect with our community.
Dropping off my children at school this morning, I noticed the pubescent girl with blunted face, guarded eyes, crossed arms, standing alone even surrounded by other kids. Ouch! I wanted to hover over her. Guard her from what ever it is that’s scaring her. Touch her arms and hair and make her understand that she is important to the universe on a small-scale and large-scale. Of course I might have been arrested if I did, so I just walked on to safety.
Jeff Wise, author of Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger, writes
A feeling of connection to others is nature’s Xanax.
Some of my families with disabled children struggle hard to take care of their own. They often wait until at cliffs edge emotionally, financially, physically to consider placement for their disabled child. When helping them get past their barriers to placement, we find guilt, fear and shame in the way. These children often do better physically and emotionally when they are in group homes and away from the emotional burdens in their nuclear family homes. We need community and community needs us. Each of us. Joana Johnson, neuroscientist, says that placement, is in fact a way families can connect with their community and with their child.
Some skeptic personalities struggle to trust the links between us, not out of paranoia, but rather because it is the hard-wiring in their nature
to question things. There is also the introvert, who is often alone not because they don’t like people, but because that is how they get energy. However, regardless of genetic predispositions, we are all designed to have community.
Mary Shelley tells us through her Frankenstein, that we are better people in the company of others. We see forces that keep us from sharing ourselves. But let us not believe those forces. Break past. Let us believe our own better Creator who tells us, connect. Tell our stories. Stick a finger out and get in someone’s space. Do what we must to let them into ours.
Self Care Tip #42 – Share yourself and get community. Be a friend to yourself.
Nursing Homes Questions?
1. How many handicap children are in the US?
2. How many are in nursing homes?
3. How many have family?
4. How many have family that actually VISITS?
5. How often does the family actually visit?
6. How many have been abandoned to the state?
7. What are policies regarding visitation?
8. Do nursing homes allow visitation by people other than family members?
9. If a child has been abandoned in a nursing home, and has no one to visit them, will they allow Visit by other people?
10. The children who do have families but they don’t visit, will the nursing home seek permission from the family to receive visits from others.
11. Who advocates for children in nursing homes?
12. Since most handicap children in nursing homes can’t speak, how would they be able to make a complaint if they were being mistreated, want some water, or need a hug?
13. Are nursing homes allowed to regulate themselves?
14. For profit nursing homes claim to be able to completely care for their residents needs, so they don’t inform parents for everything that happens to the child, such as brusises, fevers, illness etc. and they don’t encourage visitation because families point out issues. So who is there to hold the sick child? Or ask how he got the bruise?
15. Nursing homes claim to have volunteer programs; the facilities that do have volunteer programs, the volunteers interact with the residents that can react a little, who visits the ones that can’t talk?
16. How much effort is made to get the children out of the nursing home and fostered, adopted into a real family.
17. How much effort is made to encourage families to care for their children at home with nursing support?
18. How much effort is made to inform the public that there are needy children needing families?
19. Why do Medical Doctors/nurse encourage families to place children in nursing homes in the first place?
The reason I am asking these questions is that I am a pediatric home care nurse. I work out in the community with handicap children who are fortunate to live with families. I was fortunate to be able to visit anytime with a little boy who I had taken care of at his home for8 years.
His parents placed him in a nursing home on his 8th birthday. For two years I went to visit, hold him, support him 3-5 times a week, staying for several hours at a time. I was able to observe
Many happenings at the nursing home while I sat and held him or wheeled him around. He was granted his angle wings almost one month after his 10th birthday. I can’t rest knowing there are
thousands of helpless handicap children in nursing homes, staring at walls, never being acknowledged, never held, never spoken to, and never played with. I know, I saw them first hand and I saw some things that just should not happen.
Hey Bonita. I just wrote a follow-up post relating to this and I’d luv your thoughts :). hope u r good.
Hello Bonita! Thank you for reading and commenting. Your first hand reflections are large and compassionate. Although you listed many questions, your reflections brought your concerns to a focus any of us care about. you are likely right that awareness is a limiting factor, not malice. but who can know unless people like you keep shouting it out! Love that. Keep the feedback coming. I hear you. We hear you. Keep on.