Is your loved one telling you the whole story?

    In one week I went to two check ups in different offices in different towns.

    At the first appointment I sat next to two gentlemen in their mid 80s.  One has a clipboard with about 10 pages of information to fill out.  This man said to his friend “my insurance has not changed so why do I have to refill everything out and for that matter instead of the workers behind the glass window ordering their lunch at 11 a.m. can’t they help me with all this paperwork!”

    During the second appointment a man approached the receptionist and explained that his name is Richard Smith and his date of birth is May 1, 1924.  (I changed his name and month and day of birth.)  He also stated he forgot his hearing aide and he would stand by her desk so he would not miss his name being called.  She said “ok.”  I couldn’t believe that she would let a 91 year old man stand instead of telling him to  sit and when his name came up she would get him from the waiting room.  I went over to him and told him I would let him know when his name came up and to please sit next to me.  He was thankful and grateful.

    I tell you about these two observations to impress upon you that I doubt if these stories were conveyed to their loved ones.  The first story is really about the frustration seniors have on a daily/weekly basis.

    The second story is one we really need to think about…all of us can understand how disappointing it was for the receptionist not to help this older gentleman.  We can all ask why didn’t she help?  Maybe a more important question is how did he drive without his hearing aide?  Would he have heard sirens or a child yelling as she runs across the street for a ball?  How many other stops did he make that day that could have put himself in danger as well as others?