I recently had a meeting at a local private Healthcare Centre that specialises in care for the elderly. They also have a unique purpose-built centre for patients suffering with dementia.
The building was beautiful and the staff every bit as nice. I was there to discuss Receptionists Training for their staff. I sat in the comfort of the impressive lounge with lovely coffee shop attached whilst I waited on my appointment.
Staff interacted with the patient whilst they all sat and had their mid morning coffee. There was a great buzz around the building. There was lots of laughter and chatting taking place.
Whilst I sat watching everyone going about their daily routine my eyes fixed on a man walking through the door with whom I took to be his mother. He gently led her by her arm walking at her pace and brought her over to a sofa close to where I was sitting but far enough away that I didn’t feel I was intruding.
She didn’t utter a word; she had a blank look on her face almost like she was in a world of her own. He sat her down with great care talking to her all the time. She never once spoke back or looked as if she had heard anything he was saying.
He went over the counter and ordered 2 coffees. He came back, put the sugar and milk into her cup chatting to her all the time.
I didn’t want to stare but the love that this man had for this frail elderly woman shone through, in his gentle words he spoke and the way he attended to her with such care.
She still said nothing; she just sat there glazing out of the big window in front of her.
The man got out an ipad and started flicking through photographs. Every single picture he spoke to her, sharing with her the people who were in the pictures. She continued to sit with the blank look on her face.
Then as he turned to the next picture she smiled, turned to him and looked him straight in the eyes and for a very brief moment the love she had for him shone through.
It brought a lump to my throat.