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Officially I was not supposed to stay longer than ten minutes alongside Mr. Meier’s bed.

The public health insurance companies in Germany just pay for ten minutes a day per demented patient. Ten minutes of talking a day. Ten minutes for taking a walk. Ten minutes a day for company. Mr. Yard, a former boss of the senior home I am working in, liked to mention this fact.

We are supposed to ignore the seniors not yet suffering of dementia.
We aren’t being paid for that.

I always left Mr. Meier’s bedside after half an hour.
I was happy having an excuse for doing that.

Just listening to his cries.
Feeling helpless.
Not being able to do anything.
I couldn´t reach him anymore.

I was happy to have an excuse for leaving him alone.

Alone, crying out loud for help.


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October 10