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Transcript: "Deciding on Residential Care"

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Author of Always Gramma:

My family is bi-racial. My grandmother's all Caucasian, she's Irish and German and my grandfather is black. (photo: Hazel and Bill Batch.) And when they married her family completely disowned her, and he promised her that he would always be there for her, that he would never ever let her down. And so the question of putting her in a nursing home was... it was difficult for him because he felt that that was a betrayal of that promise. They have really taught me more about love and devotion. My grandma's in a nursing home. She's been in a nursing home for... since 1979. And there is someone from my family who visits her every day. I know that's why she's alive. I mean, I can't imagine why she would be living if she didn't feel love around her. She doesn't talk to us anymore. I think people are critical of other people who put their parents in nursing homes. Some... but I think that everybody has to deal with the problem in their own way. My grandfather couldn't take care of my grandmother anymore. And, because, as I said, he became ill, and she was a danger to herself. She was wandering. And he had to change the locks on the doors and she became very hostile and she wasn't sleeping. She was just wandering and she would be exhausted. If you can keep someone at home I think that's wonderful. But sometimes that's just not possible. And now I know they have day care centers that I think, I think that's wonderful, where they will take care of the patients while you're working or whatever, and I think that that that.... It's a sign to me that the, I don't know, what do you call it? The medical community, the the social service community has begun to realize that there's a real need for attention in this area.

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