Recently I was giving meds to an old woman who I was told was demented and not to be taken seriously when she complained of maltreatment. She asked me for a drink of water and I went away to fetch it, and when I returned with a glass of the precious stuff she thanked me vociferously, saying as how nobody ever came back when she asked for water and she was always so thirsty. This particular "house for the dying" has half the residents suffering from urinary tract infections, which come about from leaving the oldies lying in their incontinence pads for too long and also they're not getting enough fluids to drink. Half the staff have second jobs that they're always running off to breathless and uncaring, like greed for the good bucks has grabbed their interest, no time left over for the aged they're supposed to be there for.
Every corner is cut to save money and increase profits for the private owner, so the food is bleached plastic crap, the diversional therapy is singing "daisy, daisy...." endlessly like a broken record in Hell, and for the rest of their days they sit or lie in one position for hours staring into the nothingness of their existence. Who wants the longevity science now promises if it's just to rot cruelly and make money for small-minded fuckwit capitalists? I'd break windows to escape if I woke up and found myself incarcerated in cash-cow nursing home.
After I gave the woman much water to drink, she pointed shakily at the day-room in which she sat and muttered how the others would like a drink also. I was feeling somewhat dizzy from a toothache, the room had a hallucinatory quality about it and as I gazed with blurred vision about me I seemed to see a crowd of ancients shuffling about, walking in circles, packing the room as if it was a cell in some medieval gaol. With the hair standing up on my head, I realised that if there was any place where ghosts congregated it would have to be in nursing homes, for over the years many hundreds had died there, some in appalling circumstances, unloved, unattended, and perhaps they still cried out for some kind of retribution.
The Nursing Homes Accreditation Board can do little to help even tho carrying out continuous inspections as the "home's" managers are forewarned and always have their dumps spick and span ready for official visits, and all the workers are too afraid for their jobs or too keen on the slacker's easy money to speak up with their criticisms. And the oldies can hardly speak up for themselves, suffering dementia or some other variation on decrepitude, and claimed to be mad if they do somehow find a voice. I dream of CCTV cameras hidden and spying on the uncaring staff, that would fuck them.