(2018-10-23) Driving Mr. Winstanley
Arturo brings a resident back to Rosewood following an intensive checkup at the hospital; Genevieve gets him caffeinated. (The EMT, not the resident~)

Rosewood Care Home, Calaveras
Tue Oct 23, 2018

Built sometime in the early 1900s and once home to an affluent family, this stately mansion now houses the Rosewood Residential Care group and has been modernized to cater to the eleven residents who live here. In following a highly successful smaller-scale protocol, the facility has been kept as 'close to home' as possible to ensure comfort and stimulation; especially those with cognitive difficulties.

The former life of the mansion can yet be seen in the dark oak panel wainscoting, vaulted ceilings and rich accents in the form of large paned windows and carefully-selected decor. The entry foyer branches off into a large dining room and back kitchen and pantry; various sitting and activity rooms; a nurses' station + break room; in-house clinic and a back breakfast nook that opens up to a stunning verandah and seasonal gardens. Further onwards, a guest house on the grounds has been re-purposed as a multi-denominational chapel.

The lower level is home to the handful of residents with more demanding needs, whereas the entire upper level of the house contains the plethora of bedrooms and bathrooms which have all been outfitted for the continued care of each beloved member of the household. While most of the current residents are mobile, the main stairwells have all been equipped with chair lifts and sturdy railings. The overall feel in this space is warm and welcoming. Something is being done right.


It's been a busy morning for Ginny MacKail. Sure, she's enjoying more 'early' shifts; she's in the middle of her morning shift rotation. For now though, it doesn't matter the time of day; when you're involved in the day-to-day comfort for upwards to eleven or so seniors… it's always hectic. Turns out one of the lower level residents, in need of acute care, had to be transported to hospital earlier that morning for further care from a family doctor. Something about reconfiguring medications, extensive blood testing and the smattering of other things needed to keep this elderly gent in good standing.

The hours have ticked by and Ginny, a couple of hours away from the end of her day, is waiting to receive Mr. Winstanley from his ambulance ride. Each and everytime one of her residents has to be taken away, even on day trips with family, Ginny nonetheless awaits their return.. eagerly, in fact. She is attached to each and every one of them… but in the case of a hospital soiree, she's especially concerned.

It's roundabouts 1 o'clock-ish in the afternoon and the small woman is keeping busy downstairs as she awaits the return of old Mr. Winstanley. Gold-green eyes regularly flit toward the large windows which overlook the doors for any sign of the elderly man's dropoff, so she can move to help receive him.

The ambulance eventually comes up the drive, and an EMT steps out from the driver's seat, while another steps out from the back of the truck. The doors open wide and the elderly man is taken out of the ambulance, still prone on a gurney.

"There we go, old timer." Arturo says as he gives the old man's shoulder a pat. "Back home again." he says as he next pulls a wheelchair out of the ambulance. With ease and care he lifts the elderly man and places him in the wheelchair. "There we go. Better to be rolled in this way, yeah?" he asks, before he starts to wheel the older man into the senior living facility.

It hadn't been Ginny present to see the old boy off, so as she notices the arrival and moves to help bring him in, her hazel eyes alight upon one of the EMTs who help to wheel the man indoors. There sits Mr. Winstanley in his chair, rheumy eyes scanning the foyer and perhaps for the third time today it takes him a bit to recognize where he is. At least in his case, the elderly man presents happily as his mind wanes away like waves on a shoreline, pulling back and rearranging (and removing) many grains of sand. That's the metaphor that Ginny uses, anyway, as she navigates a few of the cases of early-to-mid dementia in this home.

She watches this EMT for a second or two, feeling a pang of recognition.. but first she must reassure the older man of where he is. "Here you are now, Denny.." Said as she pads forward to set a hand upon the old boy's wrist. His wrinkly face lights up and with a papery voice, asks of the nurse: "This iddn't the theatre?"

"No my love. You're home now. It's just me, Missus Ginny." The blonde woman pats his hand and straightens to smile at the paramedic. "You're Cornelius' best buddy, right?" Hey, she remembered what she overheard at the foodmart, a few days back!

"That's me." Arturo says, with a nod of his head, "He's a weird cat, but a good cat." he offers, "Arturo Munoz." he offers to Ginny with a nod of his head, "Let's get you back into your room, yeah?" he asks of the elderly man- then looking back to Ginny for directions.

It wasn't him who picked the guy up earlier in the day. "So, which way?" he asks- as he's clearly ready to see the job to the end and make sure his patient gets to his actual destination.

Arturo's partner goes and gets the appropriate transfer paperwork filled out with another one duty nurse.

"Just this way now," Says the nurse with the accent, grateful that she was accurate. If she asked the wrong person that question she would come off as a nutbar. Her mouth opens to offer introduction, but then 'Denny' goes and does it for her indirectly. "Did I miss it, Missus Ginny?" He asks of the nurse and she smiles down at him, "Not at all Den, let's go get you settled in." Ginny replies with familiarity. Thank goodness for PVRs! The home isn't outfitted with the pinnacle of entertainment technology but at least when old fellow wants to catch his favorite episode of M.A.S.H from a golden oldies television channel, he damned well can!

Ginny straightens and shows Arturo the way to the private room that Mr. Winstanley has called his own for two years now. IT's on the very same floor and supremely easy to navigate to. Ginny pushes open the door to the cozy space, full of photos and books and many affectations of an eighty-something-year-old man… while, in the background like stealthy ninjas: the clinical things needed to maintain his day.

The bed is readied but 'Denny' indicates an armchair by a television. "Right in there now." Said tiredly by the old man.

"Alright. You're the boss." Arturo says as he pushes the chair closer to the armchair, and helps Denny up and into the thing. "There we go." he says, when the old man finally settles in. Arturo double checks the chair to make sure nothing was left behind before pushing it to the corner where it looks like it belongs. It was the elderly man's chair, after all.

After that, he steps out of the room and takes a slow, quiet breath. Just taking a moment to refocus.

It's petering off into a 'quiet' time now, in the home. To be here is to see that the place is run with a perfect balance of casual comfort with much of the medical aspect being kept as close to the background (the more unseen the better) as possible. Pulling from the model of 'memory care neighborhoods', residents — if able-bodied enough — are allowed to partake in many light housekeeping tasks (of their own volition of course) to keep their minds and bodies sharp. But Denny here, the morning took a lot out of him. He's tuckered, and the moment he's eased into his favorite chair he's already half-asleep as the familiar sounds of the show provide that background noise he needs to feel safe.

Ginny eases in next to elderly man as Arturo steps out, assembling pillows and a throw blanket and with a promise of tea she leaves Denny to rest. Soon, she joins the EMT as she closes the door over behind her, and gives Arturo a thoughtful glance. "How'd the morning treat you?" Ginny asks tentatively, though immediately she looks rueful. Hopefully she didn't derail his 'refocusing' mojo!

"Well enough. Easiest part is the transport duty, though. Not too much going on, just yet." Arturo replies with a nod of his head, taking a slow and quiet breath. Clearly she's not getting in the way of his refocusing- he just keeps on going.

"You? Quiet work in this kind of place?" Arturo wonders over to Ginny, "Seems like a nice enough place to work."

The young woman studies Arturo for a bit, noting to herself that it can't be easy. The things paramedics must see! No wonder this fellow has to re-center himself with breathing. Her lips quirk upwards into a rueful little smile as she carries on in her lyrical way, a clipboard nestled into an elbow as she gives Denny's door one more glance. She just knows that the old man is already fast asleep in his chair; his naps are like clockwork. Ginny herself looks tired, standing there in scrubs bearing little likenesses of Snoopy from the Peanuts comic + cartoon. Said scrubs have begun to wilt a little though, though there's still a degree of light to the nurse's eyes.

"It's a catch-22.. I don't reckon y'want the day to become too active because of that that means." Ginny feels silly, vaults easily into describing a portion of her predictable day. "I love it here.. been a few months now, there's not many of us. It's a nice switch from where I came from." Ginny admits, tilting her head. "Y'drink coffee, Arturo? Tea? Need a pick me up? Least I can do for y' taking such good care of my Denny."

"Both." Arturo says, "Just not mixed together." he continues in consideration of tea and/or Coffee. "I'd bet. Seems like it be mostly quiet." Compared to what he usually sees. One can tell from the patches he's the higher trained of the two medical techs in the building today. He's got all kinds of patches showing his ability to work in a helicopter, or on the road, or to do simple emergency surgeries. He's a real Paramedic.

"I'll drink whatever you have, not very picky when it comes to something offered for free." Arturo notes, "And yeah, never tell a Paramedic to have an easy shift. It's bad luck."

It is decided that Ginny will spend her break seeing to it that the seasoned EMT gets caffeinated before he's off on his way. Being a superstitious soul, the nurse's lips press together tightly at the very thought of jinxing the man's day. Lord knows she doesn't want to be cause of an EMT's day going badly. The 'not mixed together' bit amuses her some, "Lord sacred heart, y'don't do that. It's offensive to a perfectly good cup of tea." Said with some passion. Tea is a Big Deal, where she's from. But she sounds amused as she indicates to the duty nurse her intention to take her last break of the day.

"My name is Ginny," Offered finally as she gestures for Arturo to join her.. the break room, too, is set on this lower level and seeing as how the place is a repurposed mansion.. it's a quaint, cozy space. A table with about six chairs, veteran Keurig machine, electric kettle and the other steadfast necessities for a pack of medical staff who work all hours. Ginny sets down her clip board and goes about unearthing K-cups. "D'you have a favorite roast?"

"No. I take it black with a sugar." Arturo says, as he joins the nurse in the local room. His radio still on, but volume lowered- just in case a call comes in. "Nice room you've got here. Very comfortable." he says, as he takes a seat, "Thanks for the coffee. That's very kind of you." he continues with a nod of his head.

"Where are you from, Ginny?" Arturo wonders- his own accent is quite late- he's clearly a native English speaker, but his words still have a Spanish tinge to them.

The Keurig is one of the Most Important employees. She pops in a medium roast pod, toggles the size, and sets the thing to brewing. Then Ginny, who wouldn't be a true Newf if she didn't do what comes next, pulls out of a breadbox what appears to be a tupperware container. Prying open the lid, she produces a small heap of fresh (that morning!) chocolate chip cookies, homemade. Another reason why residents like her: Ginny brings in treats. She sets the container down for Arturo to pick from if he is obliged, and hands off the hot coffee in a paper cup (in case he needs to vamoose.)

She moves to make her own.. but tea, this time. Couple of orange pekoe bags in a big mug, water boiling… she seats herself across from the EMT while she waits. "I'm down from Canada, wouldn't y'know. Came here with a plan, plan folded… decided I liked it here and stuck around. East coast." Ginny explains succinctly, eyes alight, "What of you? You've been here long?" He could be local for all she knows, but it seems as if Ginny is meeting a pile of transplants lately.

"I was born in Colorado, in Pueblo. I moved here because I found a nice apartment for cheap downtown and they needed a paramedic with my qualifications." Arturo says, "So, I got here after I was discharged from the Army with my Afghani trash-goblin, Cornelius, and set upon living a new life." he says, "Been here a couple of months now. It's a good place, so far."

"Glad to hear you like it, though. It's a very different place than anywhere on the East Coast." he says, "Looking forward to ski season?" he asks, next.

The woman listens with interest, barely missing a beat as she stands to slosh the awaiting teabags with boiling water. Then she's back, planting her arse into the seat and picking up a cookie. Hazel eyes do not leave the EMT as he describes a bit more about himself. Ginny, a curious sort by way of birthright, doesn't push with questions that are too personal. Talk of the Army and discharges has her eyes rounding slightly, mouth hurting with questions, but she's wise to keep it light. "Ah! So that answers my next question.. where Cornelius came from." A beat as she sips her tea, even while hot. Ginny is a seasoned tea drinker. "It was really sweet, you shopping for him back at the foodmart. He's a very lucky guy." Blink, she looks up. "Perhaps you're lucky too, that he chose you. How old is he?"

Then, a light blush. "Uh.. last time I've been on slopes… was th' bunny hill when I was ten. Had snow burn all up the side of my face from that. Can only imagine what I'll do if unleashed upon the big slopes… so maybe I am, kind of? This will be my first time seeing what it's all about here."

"Yeah. I found him burned half to death as a kitten under a truck." Arturo says, "Nursed him back to health. I figure he's about a year or two old, but I can't be sure how old he was when I found him. He's sort of runty, and kind of a mess outside. Lots of burn scars and such." he shrugs, "But, that was maybe two or three months before I was discharged. I just kept him with me, took care of him, and no one really said anything about it. We just sort of clicked, and he's been my buddy ever since." Arturo explains Cornelius' so far short history. "He's a good conversationalist, though, so all really worth it." he says with a bit of a half smile.

"They have bunny slopes here, too. You should give it a try. I'll be around to set your leg if you break it." he teases.

"Oh my God, the poor thing!" Ginny exclaims… granted, she didn't even judge when she caught the feline's gaze at Food4Less and saw that he looked haggard. Everyone and everything has a story and she just learned Cornelius'. "That is so good of you. So you both started a new life together." Her accent intensifies when she's touched or excited. "I'm missing th' family dog terribly. I couldn't take him with me else my Ma and Da would've skinned me. They sure do just get into your heart, in whatever way they can, and never let go…" Ginny reflects, and it's seen as plain as day in her face the deep missing of 'Cheeseburger' the dog. (long story.) …

Talk, again, of the slopes loosens another laugh from Ginny. She chews a mouthful of cookie and speaks after swallowing lest she be rude, "Well that helps. I'm going to break something, sure as th' sun up high. Be ready with the gurney."

"He's alright now." Arturo assures Ginny. "No pain, very healthy. A little overweight, but I feel like he's earned it." he continues, "And yeah, I guess you could say we did. He's certainly happier here than he'd be on the streets of Kabul." he goes on to say, with a quiet nod of his head.

Arturo is quiet as Ginny talks about the family dog, nodding again, smiling at her genuine excitement there. He sips his coffee quietly, "Well, depending on where you break it, I might come in the helicopter." he says next, with a chuckle.

The friendly nurse smiles lightly, already finding herself to be mostly down to the dregs of her tea. Not to be rude but she does have to mark the time often, for to overstretch her break is not recommended. "Earned it, indeed. I think you're both in the right place." Said kindly as she drains her tea and rises again, never sitting for too long. Tea bags composted, mug nestled into a dishwasher. After making sure Arturo hasn't any further need of cookies or another top-up of bevvies, Ginny is more or less setting the room back to rights again before she must return to the remainder of her shift.

After a good hearty spat of laughter at the helicopter bit, Ginny smirks lightly. "Maybe I'd better take some lessons. Not how I'm wanting t'introduce myself to the ski season 'round these parts, eh?" Said in her quick, chipper way… followed by an apologetic glance. "I need to be getting back to th' clock, Arturo. Thanks a lot for the help, and the bit of company."

Arturo nods, lifting his coffee as he stands and heads for the door. "Nice talking to you, Ginny. See you around. Have a beautiful day." he offers finally, as he moves out towards the Ambulance where his partner is just hanging out, reading a magazine. An ambulance sitting in front of a retirement home isn't all that odd.

Arturo gives another wave, climbing into the passenger side of the truck before he and his partner drive off.

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