One day, a couple of years ago a resident asked the maintenance man if the facility could get a wall clock for his room.
The maintenance man hedged by saying he would have to order more than one clock to get them at an economical price.
I found an inexpensive one while Christmas shopping with a friend and gave it to him. He was pleased with the clock, and it was hung up. Another resident frequently hit the wall, and the clock hit the floor and eventually broke.
I understood why the resident wanted a clock. For residents who cannot get around the facility with ease, the wall clocks are far apart: one is on the wall across from the nurses' station and the other is in the main dining room.
In my more than 20 years in nursing homes, I have never had a wall clock. Activities asked if I wanted a wall clock months ago. I declined even though I was told it would not cost me anything. Since many residents here bang on the walls, I am not sure any wall clock could be put up securely enough.
I brought my alarm clock from home to my previous nursing home and put it where I could see it from my bed. The clock broke after I moved here, so I purchased another one for my bedside with a lower profile.
Later on, I got another clock that sits by my TV. That way, I can know what time it is without wearing a watch. I used to live in a rural county with frequent power failures, so I keep a small, inexpensive, battery-operated clock stowed away, too.
The female resident next door to me frequently asks me what time it is. When I am in my room, I can tell her. I think it would be better if there was a clock in her room so she would know the time.
I think the back hallway, where my room is, needs a clock. Some residents never get outside the building and may have no idea whether it is day or night. Other residents might appreciate a clock nearer to their room. More residents might even get to meals and activities on time.
I wonder if nursing home managers fear that too many clocks will cause residents anxiety if they can calculate how long they wait for meals, activities and maybe even medicine.
Despite the fact that a clock may induce anxiety, I think knowing the time is always better.
Kathleen Mears is a long-time blogger who has been a nursing home resident for 21 years. She is an incomplete quadriplegic and uses a power wheelchair to get around. Her computer is her “window on the world.” This blog shares her thoughts and view of life as a nursing home resident as well as ideas of how it might be improved in the future.