Meanwhile at the VA Dementia Ward

New Years Day

Just as we were setting out for a trip around the basement tunnels, some visitor from his church, so I left them to be together.

My Jewish vet was again in his trance, so I sat next to a vet that I have said hello to but never spoken with.

We chatted for a while about things and I started to wonder why he was even in a dementia ward. As we talked about the cold weather he mentioned that he has a truck that always starts and asked if I wanted to go for a ride.

I supposed that this showed where he is not fully connected with his situation; why he is there.

But, like my guy, and like my Jewish vet buddy, and like all the patients, he just sits all day and stares. But with some of these vets, if someone takes the time to talk with them, they come alive.

The staff deals with things as best they can; changing them as needed, feeding them as needed, giving out meds, but nobody is in charge of engaging those patients that can benefit from conversation.

After my guy’s visitors left, I took him in his wheelchair for a trip around the basement tunnels, where occasional sunlight throws our shadow on sparkling white walls.