Assisted Living

The pungent odor of death
lingers the hallways
urine mixed with medication
mingling in musty air.
Today, I wish my sight
was still undamaged;
instead of my sense of smell
slowly spoiling my appetite.
I long for scented peonies,
apple blossoms of May,
fragrant roses in June;
heavy in fresh spring air.
Now, each single moment
whispers seconds of death;
down dreary corridors
in this place called home.

Linking up at dVerse for…MeetingTheBar: The Blind Poet

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22 thoughts on “Assisted Living

  1. This reminds me of medical calls, visits and time spent with elders – that smell. It assaults the senses, and sometimes even a whiff of the industrial detergent at a happy place, like a hotel pool, takes me back to those hallways seeping in life leaving. Powerful write.

  2. It’s almost impossible to think of a nursing home or assisted living facility without being assaulted by the smell. So unfortunate because it comes to taint memories of the loved one who lived there.

  3. You write of “the dread” – solitude, unable to sustain life without help, forced to move away from the garden and home you love. I fear it’s coming for me but perhaps I, like my mother and grandmother, will be able to function in my own home until the end. You write so accurately of that situation and it’s chilling.

  4. I know of this. Happily not all homes are like this – where I work isn’t (it is vibrant and alive (and odour free)), yet sadly, death is the only means of exit for most.
    Anna :o]

  5. Agreed!! Life cannot be of good quality when the atmosphere is so bleak and speeds up the death process i do believe…I know there are a few exceptional places but this is not want of them

  6. oh that is tough… the smell of death and despair… my mom used to work in an elderly people’s home and for me the smells were the worst when she took me along… def. longing for flowers and life and freshness

  7. The retirement home transfers you to the fully-Assisted wing, the last stop motel, where the cost leaps to 1500 bucks a day, & the sensitivities of too many of the minimum wage staff become as offensive as the bland food, & tiny portions; incontinence becomes your constant companion, pain meds blunt your perceptions and flowers begin to smell like a sewer, like rotting rats; something for each of us to look forward to. ,.

  8. This is the scenario similar to having a bedridden person around. It is most depressing for both. It is most unfortunate but someone will be there to take the responsibility of clearing and cleaning up and making things comfortable! Nicely Pat!


  9. I have not been there but can imagine the smell of decay & death like in a hospital ~ That third stanza is lovely & hopefully we can see & smell it soon ~ And that’s a stunning macro picture ~

  10. A very realistic evocation of assisted living! And it makes you wonder why they call it home and why not more efforts are made to ensure it does not have this kind of smell.

  11. heavy. i worked in an assisted living in college…and have been to see my aunt and well several others…it can be a hard place…def has its distinct smells…and there are moments of escape desire…for fresh smells…for a bit of life….

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