This Feels Like a Metaphor for Something…

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…but I forget what:

The bus stop, in front of the Benrath Senior Centre in the western city of Düsseldorf, is an exact replica of a standard stop, with one small difference: buses never stop there….

"It sounds funny," said Old Lions Chairman Franz-Josef Goebel, "but it helps. Our members are 84 years-old on average. Their short-term memory hardly works at all, but the long-term memory is still active. They know the green and yellow bus sign and remember that waiting there means they will go home." The result is that errant patients now wait for their trip home at the bus stop, before quickly forgetting why they were there in the first place.

"We will approach them and say that the bus is coming later today and invite them in to the home for a coffee," said Mr Neureither. "Five minutes later they have completely forgotten they wanted to leave."

[Via bOING bOING.]

NEXT: Sell the Whales

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  1. This Feels Like a Metaphor for Something…

    Kindler, gentler concentration camps?

  2. Epi,
    That’s harsh. I think the fake bus stop is inspired. I’m guessing you never had to watch a loved one loose their mind.

  3. “Welcome to the Hotel Dusseldorf”?

    But per Epi above, the spokesman’s name is Goebel. You who else has a spokesman with (almost) the same name?

  4. Bad, bad, Epi! You have lost your Godwin privileges for the rest of this month, young man!

  5. Don’t know nuthun’ ’bout no metaphors but it reminds me of The Prisoner.

  6. I think the fake bus stop is inspired.

    Me, too. Pure genius.

    Much better than what we did to keep our (hospital) patients from sneaking out to smoke. It was embarrassing, the little cluster of people puffing awayoutside the hospital with IV bags hanging off those little rolling stands. So we made the stands too tall to fit onto the elevators.

  7. They need a little speaker to announce “The flavor of the day is strawberry.”

  8. Memory Loss Shall Set You Free

    (posted over the entrance)

  9. It’s a voting booth!

  10. Somewhere, Mike Godwin is hyperventilating.

  11. R C Dean,
    I get kind of pissed off when elderly people are forbidden from smoking, eating foods they like, or having casual sex. Sure it’s bad for them, but where does anyone get off telling them “no”.

  12. ” or having casual sex.”

    As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing casual about it. Waaaaay too much preparation involved.

  13. Episarch,
    Uncool! Godwining a thread on the first post is downright vile man. Vile!!

  14. This is why I want to be dead before (if?) I hit that phase. If I don’t die from natural causes before then, and I feel the signs coming on, I have a strong suspicion that I’m going to take a walk one day that I don’t intend on coming back from.

    Neil Young was spot on with his assessment. “It’s better to burn out than it is to rust.”

    And yes, the bus stop bit is genius. Sad, but brilliant.

  15. Ok, I promise. This is the last time I’ll post this.

  16. My grandfather used to say he wanted to be shot in the back at the age of 96 by a jealous husband.

  17. It’s Godot station. They wait all day for a bus that never comes.

  18. This reminds me of a repeated gag in “Ghost World,” [SPOILER ALERT] a gag that serves as the metaphor for the theme of the movie. An old man sits at a bus stop waiting for a bus, and the female protagonist of the film tells him that the line has been discontinued years ago. He remains adamant . . . the bus is coming! At film’s end the bus finally arrives, and takes him away . . . leaving the young woman to watch in wonder.

  19. I’ll echo “inspired” and “true genius”, I’ll add compassionate.

  20. Sure it’s bad for them, but where does anyone get off telling them “no”.

    Its our property. We can make it non-smoking if we want to.

    They’re our patients, they sign an agreement (really, they do) when they check in saying they’ll abide by our policies.

  21. R C,
    Yes of course. I meant ethically not legally.

  22. Having taken care of my mom through 8 years of Alzheimer’s — thank God there was a good facility nearby, but my wife or I visited nearly every day — I’ll second J sub D.

  23. twv, “Ghost World” is one of my favorite movies, and I thought the same thing.

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