Saturday, March 07, 2009
I returned last night from a short visit at my mother's retirement complex. This time I stayed in a guest room in the basement. ("Don't Go in the Basement.") My mother was in a wonderfully clear frame of mind, and we had many laughs and good times together. Because I was in the complex so much of the time, residents started mistaking me for an employee. "Miss, miss, I need to go to the bathroom." "Are you one of the P.T. people?"
Speaking of P.T. and O.T. (physical therapy and occupational therapy), I had to go to a session of O.T. with my mother that was not stellar. There were only two patients at the table, my mother and a woman named Biz who looked as if she might bite, and was clearly much less with it mentally than my mom. James, a young man from Seton Hall College who was training to be a therapist was conducting the session, with a legit therapist standing by. It started with a cornball "let's get to know each other" round the table we go.
Then James dealt a full deck of cards on the table sideways and face down, and told them we were playing a game, but no one was going to win, it was just for the fun of it. These two old timers then had to turn over two cards at a time to try and match red or black. You remember it I'm sure, concentration. I've always hated the game because I'm not good at it.
Even in my mother's best days she wouldn't have been any good at this game either-- it's not how her mind works. Add to that the numbers and the faces on the cards were totally distracting from the simple red/black matching. Biz was convinced she had telepathy and would stare at the back of the cards for a long spell and then consult the sky, before turning any card over.
They would have done better with my card game above. The flash file for it is here. It's from 2001. If you press the orange button it starts a new match game.
After the game was over both elderlies looked bewildered and James wanted them to share their feelings about what they'd just done, and suggest ways they might apply it to their lives. YUCK!