Depression at being too young to be in a nursing home

by Diane Alter
(Bronx, N.Y. U.S>A)

I'm an alert, active 68-year-old who was unwillingly incarcerated in a nursing home because of a fall that put me in a wheelchair and out of my charming, historic house.

My life was filled with the stimulation that fed my creativity within a small village with art stores, thrift stores, antiques stores, craft stores and ethnic restaurants.

Here I'm not able to indulge in any of those activities and what makes it more frustrating is that I'm now walking and have a lot of energy. I have a lot of "down time " and don't know what to do with it. I have compensated for the stores by ordering from catalogs, but I sorely miss being out in the community.

I like the computer but get lonely when everybody leaves. I need stimulating conversation as I completed five years of college and there's little humor here.

That's something I'm exploring through many sources but could use some advice. I'm not much of a television watcher.

Comments for Depression at being too young to be in a nursing home

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MS Patient, too young for a nursing home
by: Anonymous

My sister is 68 and has just been told that she should be in a nursing home to take care of her medical needs. So far, I don't think her medical needs are being addressed as well as a private aide was doing before. And there is NO stimulation. She is wheelchair bound so she can't transfer into my car anymore to take her places. There must be another solution.

I Know How You Feel
by: Lon in Baltimore

I’m 52 disabled since birth and am quite able to hold down employment. Being in a nursing home with no one my age to talk to is utterly depressing. I’m not counting on my siblings as they are of little help. Truth be told I think they’re happy with me where I’m at.

by: Lynn

You do not have the choice to leave and go back to your house? What country is this that does that to you? (I know it happened here in Nevada but new laws just passed have changed that).

Nursing Home Graduation
by: Joe W. Joe W. Your Name/Location

At 68 years old I think it's still possible for you to escape incarceration and move on to a better productive environment.

If you are walking again, I would ask the administration to work out a wellness plan for you. Then, if you get the good fortune to be more mobile ask to be graduated to an Independent Seniors apartment.

Also, it's still possible to move back into a detached house (your dream) by working extremely hard on your wellness condition.

Good Luck!

Joe W.

by: Betty Audet Canada

I wrote anonymously before but I am finding the comments here of real interest. If a communications group is set up, I would be pleased to be part of it.

by: Carol K

Hi Diane, yes, we do need some humour on the site, but if you check the chats more often I think you will find some. Also, most of the time the jokes are very funny. You have to wander around the site and check out different groups. We haven't seen you on the site lately, please come back.

Keeping occupied
by: Anonymous

You sound something like me but I am 89 years old. I have much more education than others around me and a much wider interest in the arts. All I watch on TV is news but do like a good radio station.

MY husband, who is 102 and is totally deaf, and I are in the retirement side of a very nice facility, but even here there is not enough stimulation. This facility does run trips to visit restaurants.

MY friends do come and take me to a number of activities and there are organizations which will get you to a meeting or for medical appointments.

One thing which I find occupies some of my time is writing. We take walks in the gardens and sometimes do some weeding.

I also find the exercise programmes here are worth participating in.

by: Susan, California

I can see that you have lost a lot of the things that enrich your life, and that you are a person with generous amounts of intellectual energy and creativity. Is the nursing home to be temporary or long term?

It seems that you are doing everything possible to find community and creative outlets for yourself, and I expect that you will be successful.

You may find some connection here. You have certainly found a good site for connecting with similar minds and caring people. I would enjoy talking with you. What was your profession? Do you like to read? If so, what sort of books? What are your interests?

Look forward to hearing from you as you are able.

Nursing Home
by: Anonymous

Diane: sorry to hear that you are depressed at a nursing home. How long have you been there? If you would like a penpal, I am happy to write. I live in NYC, so might be able to come visit. Let me know. EL

I Understand Perfectly
by: Zenobia

I know what it is to be robbed of intellectual stimulation and carted off from the world that once was normal for you.

I am not in a nursing home, but sometimes I think the place I am living and working is akin to that. I try to remain positive and upbeat, but the 55+ Independent Senior Living place I am currently stationed in as an office administrator/events planner and resident is far from what most people think it is.

There are folks here who ( through no fault of their own, I suppose) despise intelligence, higher thoughts, art, literature, and you name it, when I try to introduce it, I am wrong! wrong! wrong!

There are people sitting in scooters who are perfectly capable of walking but the scooters were either gifts or part of some promotional deal, so they have been in the seated position for so long that when they attempt to stand, their legs and lower parts are too weak and tired to support them.

I have brought Senior Zuumba, all kinds of music and musicians, journal class, prayer groups, stress management groups, and stuff I do myself like seminars on senior bullying, grief and you name it. All met with initial interest but it dies off quickly. The only thing that remains stimulating is anything that has to do with FOOD!

From my office I can hear the pages of the activity book being turned furiously so they can sign up for the EATING events, and doggone it, the ones who complain about diabetes and other conditions are front and center for cake, cookies, soda, pancakes loaded with syrup, etc.

The low income status that has plagued most of them ( and myself at times in my life raising kids as a single mom) has been internalized and embraced. Bitterness, prejudice and "woe is me" prevails.

My family and I were homeless 25 years ago, and I used my "second chance" to give back to the community. I went back too school, got qualifications to help battered and abused women and children and homeless adults and teens.

I do not understand the "waiting for the hearse" attitude that hangs over most of the people here.
We even established a community store with free stuff so that we could help to supplement the short incomes. Still, there is only a glimmer of light in the horizon. Worst of all, I am criticized for speaking too "properly" and thinking I am Miss "Big Stuff".

Oh, did I tell you? I really care about people and a few of these folks have wiggled into my heart. Because they are not a "they" to me, but part of my "we" if that makes sense.

I would love to correspond with you and maybe encourage you.It would be a pleasure to speak to someone who is fighting to retain a bit of their lives while believing all the time that things CAN and WILL change. They HAVE to!

I will not tell you to "hang in there" because that's too easy. I urge you to keep talking, to keep remembering and to know that nothing is written in stone.

hope springs eternal!

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