Every time I use a certain public bathroom, I am reminded of something I need to share to prepare my family and friends for when I grow older.
Hard as I try, I have a difficult time pressing the handles on a particular set of toilets. Always I dare not leave the evidence of my having used the facility, and so I repeatedly try, with all my might, to get the toilets to flush completely.
And every time I struggle thusly, I am reminded of a true story I heard at a long-term care nursing convention.
Seems as if a family was particularly grossed out when their elderly relative, whom they graciously sprang from a nursing home for a holiday visit, neglected to flush the toilet.
Not wanting to embarrass their relative, but totally disgusted, the family confronted the long-term care facility administrator.
“When our mother came to you, she was perfectly used to flushing the toilet. Why did you let her break that habit?”
The administrator smiled, recalling how often that same complaint was registered by other resident-springing families.
“All our toilets have sensors for automatic flushing. Takes our residents awhile to get used to not flushing. Sorry to say, some of them forget that when they go for a home visit, the toilets there might not be as user-friendly. Sorry. Next time, we’ll remind her before she goes. You might want to do likewise.”
Moral of the story:
Message to loving friends and relatives: when I am older and greyer and you spring me for a visit, judge not if I forget to flush. Not flushing is not necessarily a sign of dementia or slovenliness. My daily toilet digs just might be higher-tech than yours.
Oh, and same with the faucets. If I let them continue running, please remember that mine just might turn off on their own. Love ya!
What anticipatory-explanations might you like to offer friends and relatives?