Skies blaze as shadow casts
her dusky blanket,
sun dip-sinks below horizon.
Twilight nags at those
who would sleep forever,
jolt-jars them from their slumber,
irritates, alters perception;
Under half-dead eyes
they rise like jangled puppets,
strings pulled ease aching limbs
from chairs that confine
like waiting coffins,
zombie-like they shuffle
until agitation animates their every action.
The Sundowners, brain atrophied,
this is their time,
a time of purpose.
Fists, voices raised;
locked in on the other side of freedom,
they clamour at the door.
Late afternoon, early evening and sometimes further into the night, some of our residents stir from their lethargy, lose their contentment, become agitated, argumentative, restless and wandersome. These are the Sundowners who for reasons not yet quite certain are disturbed by and disorientated (at) this time of day and symptoms worsen.
Giving evening/teatime meds is fraught with distractions, little Edith will be hanging onto the bar of the drugs trolley bobbing up-and-down like a jack-in-the-box, Annie will be crying her heart out as she tugs at your sleeve, wonderful kind and pleasant Bill becomes a raging hulk demanding to know why he is kept a prisoner here and so it goes on. The drugs trolley has become a magnet compelling all Sundowners to stick to it (and you) like glue.
Some Sundowners form escape committees – my mum did in her first residential home – sweet little mother morphing into a horrendous screaming banshee inciting her fellow residents to take action and escape this strange place they found themselves in. As it was a residential home the door was unlocked, that is until my mother became a resident there and come early evening it needed to be locked!
In my home (where I work) some residents, confusion increased, attempt to leave the building with the day staff, adamant they have finished their shift too and demand to go home. (We got round this by staff leaving by the back door.)
My lovely, lovely people – I hate to see them distressed. But it will pass…
MLM’s prompt at Mindlovemisery made me think and Tess’s image prompt at The Mag gave me direction and so both these good people gave me inspiration. Thanks MLM and Tess! Also entered at dVerse -grateful thanks to Brian and Claudia!
Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons