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Friday, February 29, 2008

The Nursing Home

A few minutes in, I'd get used to the smell, but I never got used to the torpor. Most of the residents of the public nursing home in DC where I volunteered Wednesday afternoons my eighth grade year sat slumped in wheelchairs, parked along the corridors. Those too infirm to be parked stayed in their beds, the heavy, plastic lined curtains on their windows always drawn.

My job was to deliver mail to residents' rooms, to read letters aloud if need be - short, distracted notes from families far away. I embellished whenever possible, adding affectionate phrases, inquiring after the recipient, making up vignettes of birds, of rainstorms, of the world beyond those closed curtains.

In the springtime a volunteer supervisor caught wind of what I was doing. The next time I showed up I was told that from now on I was to stay in the little volunteer office and seal envelopes, a mechanical task that left my tongue feeling and tasting dead. I lasted only a few weeks before I slipped away forever to friends, to boys, to the world beyond.

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The Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee was established by North Carolina General Statute to be a volunteer, grassroots advocate for residents in adult care homes. Committee members visit facilities, interact with residents, and advocate for quality care in the homes. The committee is also involved in issues advocacy, public education, and the promotion of community involvement within long term care facilities.

The Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee of Forsyth County currently has two openings. The deadline to apply is 5 pm on March 5th.

more information, including specifications and online application
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