Meanwhile at the VA Dementia Ward

2 people


One day I was watching an aide stroking the hand of the one woman resident, who I have never seen to be conscious. But the aide didn’t care. The woman was alive and might be comforted by stroking.

The aide was a woman of color, possibly from Haiti. Some of the vet residents speak ill of the nurses and aides who are women of color.

Some of the aides and nurses of color are not perfect and not 100% attentive; just the same is true of the white nurses and aides. But when they criticize the whites, they leave out the color label.

My vet asked if I could “touch him”. I wasn’t sure he meant, so I asked if he wanted some massage. He said, “Yes. That is what I want.”

So I rubbed his twisted arms and bent wrists and he said it felt very good.

So now when I go to see him I massage his arms and bent-over hands each time. Just like the Haitian aide does for the woman vet who has never even asked.