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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/992150-Turtles--Old-Folks
Rated: E · Book · Community · #2231133
A collection of stories about when I was a caregiver
#992150 added September 2, 2020 at 2:15pm
Restrictions: None
Turtles & Old Folks
I started work at my very first nursing home right around the Christmas season. It was my third day when I was informed there would be a big Christmas party for the residents complete with a nice meal and deserts. I excitedly agreed to bring cupcakes for everyone.

Oh, how I worked on those cupcakes. They had to be just perfect. I made the cake from scratch and carefully iced each one. Then, as inspiration hit me, I lovingly adorned each cupcake with a perfect, unblemished turtle. These were sure to be a wonderful treat for everyone. I knew the residents didn't get candy or sweets very often, and here I was, giving them both at one time!

On the day of the party, I took my cupcakes to the kitchen and the kitchen staff put them into the icebox. I didn't think lunch would ever get there. Finally, everyone was seated around their assigned tables and it was time to serve the desserts. The kitchen staff had taken the cupcakes out of the fridge right as lunch was starting so they could put them on a small dessert plate.

The looks on the resident's faces were just what I had expected. Their eyes lit up, and the first thing most of them did was pop the candy into their mouths. But, slowly, their looks of delight were replaced by that of confusion as they started looking around at each other. Some kinda laughed while others picked up their drinking glass only to realize they couldn't take a sip.

You see, when the caramel is refrigerated then allowed to warm up, say to room temperature it becomes VERY sticky and tacky. It dawned on Staff's attention that everyone's mouths were basically glued shut! Dentures were coming undone, residents were poking their fingers into their mouths trying to pry their teeth apart. It didn't help that the majority of the residents found this situation hilarious and started laughing...causing staff now to worry they might choke or not be able to breathe.

Little by little, the heat from their mouths began to soften the caramel and they began getting their teeth unstuck and chewing in exaggerated chews, which looking back, was funny. At the time, I was just horrified and embarrassed at having caused such a disaster. Not one elderly person spit their candy out, oh no, they were going to eat and enjoy every bite no matter what.

That is the day I learned not to feed caramel to old folks. I was never again asked to bring a dessert to any of the special occasions after that. I was asked to bring chips, sodas, sandwiches, and side dishes, but never desserts.

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