Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Hands reaching out a window-the tradgedy of Covid

I had a really wonderful, engaging visit with Harry at the Cove on Friday. It was a truly special visit. I was told that there would be hearts in the windows of the residents who wanted a Window Visit and when I got there I became teary eyed when I saw all the hearts. It was wonderful My contacts are inside and they go room to room, and then I follow the hearts, it works great.

On top of that, they all had their Harry buttons on. Oh so sweet!

The staff also gets so much out of these visits. I am so happy I can share llama love with them especially in these times.

I think it is so hard especially on elders who already face challenges of isolation and fear of dying alone or unremembered. My goal is to always make them know I remember, even if with the dementia people it might be a fleeting thought to them.

I know how much the visits mean, and it makes my role all the more rewarding.

I just feel like we have to come up with a better way to deal with this for the elders, and patients in hospitals. I do not have the answers, but I do know without tests we will get nowhere safer than where we are.

To see the hands coming out the window, wanting to touch Harry. Wanting to touch. To touch– such a human need, to be touched, to touch. I do not of course touch anyone on visits, and to be clear, nobody could touch Harry at this point. The windows are opened so some residents can get a better look. I have a hard time seeing in due to the screens, but with the open window we can all talk back and forth, from our usual 6+ feet, with masks.

"I love you, Harry," old Sunny yells out to me. And then a resident tells me she has not seen her husband in 4 weeks [I think longer to be honest]. I try to be optimistic, but realistic with them. I don't lie, I don't tell them they'll be outside tomorrow. But I do tell them it will end, and we will all be together outside.

"Cooped up like inmates," one gent said in humor. He was there for rehab and would be going home, which is wonderful.

My visits with Bear and Opie are on hiatus and that is hard. If you read the last post, you know Opie wants a parade when this is all over. I agree. With pot banging revelers too.

These elders have been through many challenges in their lives. They are not sissies. Old age is not for sissies. And as one elder friend added,

"Life is not for sissies."