“Until death will be here” – as attain the age old people behind the iron HASP

About a third of the residents of psychoneurological boarding-schools – elderly people. They get there for different reasons: for health reasons or because relatives are unable to care for them. The journalist of “Kommersant” Olga Allenova continues to tell about the people in STUMPS, because there may not be any of us.

Photo: AlinkaRa / fotoprizer.ru

  • “I was in the STUMPS near St. Petersburg, and it’s hell. More than a thousand shadows”
  • “I don’t want to we were the last choice for patients PNI”
  • They call themselves “plaid”: for what can be in tree STUMPS
  • “The apartment is no longer seen – I was brought to the STUMPS, and now I’m a nobody”
  • Nicholas Shipilov: forced treatment, in a terrible KICK

This article contains the history of the people of the three state psychiatric institutions I have visited, either together with the experts of the Center for curative pedagogics and representatives of the Ministry of labor, either through public monitoring OP of the Russian Federation. I do not write the names of boarding schools, because I don’t want to complicate the lives of the people who talked to me. All calls are recorded on tape.

Songs in captivity

Female psycho-neurological boarding school in the woods, on the lake shore. Summer. The main body is an old mansion, cut off from the village by a low fence. The lack of physical barriers immediately catches the eye. I got used to the fact that the STUMPS are closed from the outside world by high concrete walls. It’s not a boarding school located in several buildings separated by the main village road, which is used by the rest of the villagers, so isolated it does not work.

On the other hand, around the forest, so no browser is still not out. Half of the villagers work in the same boarding school, the other half with the residents of STUMPS familiar. One local guy even got married to a girl from boarding school – now they walk with a stroller past the main building, and it gives hope to others.

There are a lot of young girls from the orphanage, and a lot of older women. First sit in the gazebo and laughing or working in the luxurious flower beds. The second “walk” in a small pen surrounded by a wooden fence.

— People with unstable mentality, not shown being in a large group, is the official voice says accompanied us man in a white coat.

Seeing my confusion, comes to the aid of fellow and says that “older people with a dementia do not know where you are” and “you can leave”.

— Where to go? I say, around the forest, and they can barely walk.

— Well, leave the forest, how to find them?

Reinsurance, obviously in vain – strong orderlies and nurses in white coats are everywhere. But if the old men in the pen, you can relax and not worry that will go away.

The young man fell I heard the high voice from the pen. I stare at old ladies who sit side by side on the bench – white handkerchiefs and coloured coats, they remind me of my departed grandmother. She also loved this song. Can a person with profound dementia by heart to sing the songs of their youth? I think not.

Photo: Olga Allenova

While all the walking, we inspect the office of mercy is a small enclosure on the other side of the road. Doors open: poor furnished, the beds are flush, wooden painted floor. In one of the rooms the beds are three women – one looking at the ceiling, the other two were covered with blankets with his head. A thick, musty smell.

Why don’t they walk?

— They are very heavy. Look at that woman in Grozny killed the father and of the son, she has a severe mental disorder.

The woman still stares at the ceiling, did not seem to hear.

— So why can’t she outside? – I ask.

And understand that I do not see a good wheelchair, in which a bedridden person can be transported to air.

Leaving the room, you see on the outside of the door of a large iron bolt.

— You lock people?

— No, it’s just in case. You see, there are patients who, as shown insulation. If a person is ill and we are preparing his departure to the hospital, then locked.

— If it’s inside was bad? And if the fire?

I have no answer.

In this case there are two paid house – they deadbolt no. Accommodation here costs 800 rubles per day. Living room – with carpets on the walls, homemade curtains and a TV. For women who live here, pay relatives. Apparently, the iron bolts in the paid services are not included.

Photo: Olga Allenova

Go to another building, and General ward meet with the 76-year-old Nina. Small, dry, with lively black eyes, Nina goes along with me to the mobile shop that comes here once a week. Nina viable, receives a pension, so she buys her clothes – her worn blue cotton Bathrobe and rubber Slippers on bare feet.

— But all mine, — she explains. — I do not like the breech, I’m 50 years old live here. I have a pension of 3100, enough.

She was 24 when my mother died, and Nina was in a boarding school. In those years, it was General boarding. When he was given the status of neuropsychiatric, many residents moved, and Nina left he said he used to.

— I was born normal, says Nina. — The uterus is mine hired a nanny, and she saw Yes was a smoker. Scared me, and I began to stutter. And as she dropped me, and I was paralyzed. Since that time sick.

I ask how she is living here, doing what, with whom.

— I used to work in the garden, planted potatoes, and then mending linen. Young people are now repairing, I rest. Watching TV.

— Are you alone in the room?

No, no, daughter. I’m with 5 people. I’m used to it!


Me are show craft circle – the administration is proud of author’s dolls, which then produce. Doll really is gorgeous. I asked why they don’t sell, because people could earn. Answer me that in the year made only a few dolls.

In the hall at the tables sits a few elderly people with their heads bowed. But they don’t sew dolls, and tie some meaningless cloth. The teacher confessed that dolls she sews herself, so to sell will not work – not strong enough.

— What are these people doing here? – I’m surprised.

— They just came to class. Well, they are mentally ill, what a doll?

With this trip, it’s been a year and I can not forget that imitation of employment. All the life in boarding school – here’s a simulation of real life.

Photo: Olga Allenova

Live to die

KICK in another region, city, winter. The administrative building, the women’s branch of the charity.

— There are disabled children and the elderly, all of them there incapacitated, is readily explained by the nurse accompanying me.

In the house with 6 beds, all occupied. Approaching the bed, by the window.

— What is your name?

— Tanya, — looks at me a haggard face and huge bright eyes.

— How are you feeling?

I got a headache. Soon lunch.

— And where are you eating?

Here. To bed bring.

— And the food is like? Like?

— Not hungry — meets Tanya.

— You have to ask — is heard the gentle voice from behind, they have little understanding of dementia.

— Why do they all lie? – I asked the nurse with a gentle voice. Anyone walking today?

In winter it is problematic — not changing tone, responds the nurse.

— Tanya, do you have any complaints? – I turn to the woman with a pale face.

— To die to quickly.

So bad here?

— No, it’s not bad. Tired of living.

— You at least walk?

— What are you. No. No.

Near the bed is a wheelchair – it’s too simple and easy in order to plant in his lying person. I ask Tanya, whose that chair.

I do not know. Draw. Put here.

When you come to the Commission, they take these strollers over the individual.

In fact, in STUMPS, there is nothing individual. I ask where her personal clothes, Tanya says that she was missing a nightgown.

How old is she, does not remember – said that “a lot”. She has two daughters, but none ever visit. She on the children are not mad.

— And in the hallway you are not taken out?

— Oh, no. Sitting up in bed.

— Yes, you have to ask, we are again reminded of the gentle nurse. – She remembers everything. They have such an age…

Another chamber. The room is difficult to call – the white walls, the same furniture, the same bed linen for all six beds.

Yekaterina says that all his life he worked as a house painter, and now “accumulated”.

— My 77 years, I’m still young — laughing.

Visit her daughter and son in law, so life is divided into two parts – waiting for new meetings and memories of the past. Walking does not work.

— I go but badly, and who will drive? In the summer we go out for a walk. In a wheelchair.

— And when you walked in last time?

— When it was warm. Summer. And in winter where to go? Who we’re lucky in a wheelchair? Try it, it’s snowing.

The day of Catherine Vasilevny goes like this: “Woke up, diaper changed, washed, dressed. Teeth I have no, not necessary to clean the face wash itself. Breakfast here bring. Sitting in bed all day. Or lie”.

— And then?

— I watch TV. Then lunch. Then a TV.

— Quiet hours are?

— Yes, where do quiet time… We sleep so much! From 7 PM until six in the morning. How much is this? 11 hours?

— Why so early go to bed?

— And how? The TV us turned off. The light too. Go to sleep.

7 years without a granddaughter

Elena lives in a boarding school for 7 years. As much time she hasn’t seen her granddaughter. The girl is now 14, the grandmother sees her only in photos in the daughter’s cell phone.

— Daughter comes to visit me once a month, can’t complain. But granddaughter to see. But children aren’t allowed here. What the law is, I don’t know.

Elena sits on the bed, dangling his feet to the floor. Next – wheelchair and toilet seat.

6 we have perestilka, cleaning, she says. — My leg is not working, the stroke was. And hand need to be developed. The extra step will not do. Now I have a little water in the bottle, in a bucket of urine cloth and wipe face in the morning.

— And in the bathroom don’t go in a wheelchair?

— No, I can’t, it hurts. Yes and I stroller?

— How do you spend the day?

— Well, lie. Watching TV. The policy in the first place. The rest is also love, concerts, music.

Go Elena weaned, but very waiting for your turn at the dentist – he says that even on all fours crawl.

I’m there at the forefront of the line, smiling toothless mouth.

— Great, I encourage. – Insert teeth will be to chew the meat. Dentures many older people helps.

— Yes, insert it many money is necessary. I would have removed this one, it bothers me, pricked, and she shows me the only tooth in the cheek. – Well, soon, said, my turn came.

— How do you eat? – I squeeze.

— Wiped all eat, and without teeth?

The nurse told me that the wash here 5 times a week. I ask Elena whether this is so.

— Bath day on Monday, here today was washed.

— How washed, in the bathtub?

— No, why. I’m in a wheelchair, it’s a hole, and wash.

— You didn’t want to leave here?

— Daughter 1-room flat, there for a granddaughter.

— And your accommodation?

Photo: Olga Allenova

— I lived in a communal apartment. My room was closed, put the iron door, privatized, and a Testament to my granddaughter. Unhealthy I, not I one.

Go with the nurse down the corridor, go to the bathroom: three cabins with toilets, doors in the booths there.

— We have in psychiatry, the principle of the open door.

— This is not a social institution. Is the door to the bathroom someone can hurt?

— Of course!

And there have been cases?

— We have, but psychiatry is psychiatry.

Look at one more house in the office of mercy — in window has the sun, 11 o’clock in the morning, but everything in the room sleeping.

— And what do they all sleep? From pills?

Well they are old. Well this stuff has. We have quiet. And yesterday was a full moon, it was noisy.

Pay grandmother

The capital city, paid into the STUMPS for 4 persons. Now here are two women. Pay for them native, but the chief of Department reported that both will soon be transferred to the budget of someone at the orphanage had died, free space.

This grandma paid, and this, too, — says the nurse.

Grandmother without emotion looking at guests.

Zinaida Ivanovna all happy: “right, all right, sisters, normal, TV is.”

— How did you get here?

— Yes accidentally. My daughter wanted somewhere in a sanatorium. I was walking normally. I had a stroke at home, then me here. The second stroke here. Go now bad.

You stroke in hospital?

— No, here.

And in the hospital you did not carry out?

— No. I’m 80 years old who needs me at the hospital?

Of the procedures Zinaida receives only “pills 3 times a day.”

Her neighbor, Mary V. more talkative: to the question “how are you?” answers: “Yes, so-so, not very good. Sitting here in Sydney”. She pulled on the strap and sits in the bed: a white nightgown, thin bare arms.

Daughter — in-law brought me here. And the son died. A neighbor said to me: I’ll go and I said Yes why, well I have a daughter-in-law is. And daughter-in-law and nose do not.

Mary V., almost did not see one of her eyes entirely closed, the second see only the dark outlines. She gets out of bed: “my Back itches, but it’s said to go. And I’ll not go there. In a wheelchair this will be in the shower, back wash, and then thank you.” Walks were taken “once on the truck”. Food is not complaining: “Pancakes even gave twice. Two candies a day.”

— There you are, darling. Now, here me as I realized no one there at the apartment it will take.

— Everything came to death will be here — responds from his bed Zinaida. — No we will not take, no give, no one to take us.

— You see, as she says, the grandmother? – Mary V. nods. – Feed me with your talk. There is no one to take. That’s right — no one. Once brought, and all. Maybe pohoronit on the shore. And maybe in the basement opustit. And that’s all.

She sits, slightly lowering his head and nodding his head.

— And I’ll be there, where my husband is. Understand? Here. He will meet me dressed like this, beautiful as before good people went. It was Ryazan, where the mine was built. And you, Mary V., sitting here and wait. From the city of Voronezh I am. There my sister lives. But it’s far. And no, I will not come. That’s all. Sit, Mary V., until his death. Well, thanks for talking to me. Warm you, darling. When will you come back?

— I don’t know whether they’ll let me back here.

— Okay. Good luck to you and goodbye.

I close the door to the house and look at the nurse.

— There is not believe everyone should. They have dementia, schizophrenia, mental retardation, — confidently said the nurse. They utter you a lot.

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