New Bedford, Massachusetts It’s a hard choice for some children, putting their parents into a nursing home. At least it should be a hard decision. Those places are just plain evil. I don’t know if the “homes” were invented to exact revenge from children who had horrible childhoods or what the deal is. There’s nothing that remotely resembles a “home” there. No old person’s home I’ve walked into has smelled like a nursing home. Sure, some smell like piss but most elderly people don’t mix in that unmistakable chemical smell. All the furniture is covered with some wipe down plastic upholstery, the food sucks, and the majority of the residents are pissed as hell their children turned on them. As if all that weren’t enough, there’s generally a contingent of staff who don’t really care if the old people are squishing crap between their butt cheeks and especially don’t give a damn about the petty spats that occur between roommates. Seriously, what staff member is going to listen to someone like 98-year-old Laura Lundquist who bitches that the old lady in her room gets too many visitors and complains about a table at the foot of the bed? Loony Laura is just a crotchety old hag anyway – one who’s now facing a shitload of legal troubles. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with this murder…
Whomever said old people aren’t spunky couldn’t have been further from the truth. They’ve obviously never met a nursing home resident like Laura Lundquist. I have. This old lady was mean as a snake, stealing jewelry and perfume from her roommate as she laid dead waiting for the family and undertaker. Sure, Helen was younger than Miss Laura, and I hate to say it, had not amped up to the temper tantrums Laura has allegedly thrown.
Elizabeth Barrow was a centenariann at Brandon Woods Nursing Home in New Bedford. By looking at pictures of this lovely lady, I found myself amazed at how sprite and young she looked at her 100th birthday party. What a milestone to reach. The attention, the parties, Willard Scott sending a shout-out on the picture tube – that’s some pretty heavy competition for a deranged roommate to take. It’s no wonder ole Laura snapped. ‘You’ve got too many people coming in here – I can’t rest.’ ‘You’re showing off.’ ‘You put that goddamn table at the foot of your bed so I’d have to walk around it‘…these may not be direct quotes but I doubt I’m that far off.
As Scott Barrow, Elizabeth’s son, responded to the nursing home, Laura was being wheeled away saying, “You’re going to blame me for this…but you’re wrong”. Blame her for what? Maybe it had to do with the plastic bag tied around his mother’s head. Yeah, I’d say Laura was onto something there. At first the authorities ruled Elizabeth’s death as a suicide but after the autopsy showed strangulation, Laura became their one and only suspect.
The report from the family and the report from the nursing home differ quite a bit. Mr. Barrow claims he’d asked for the two roommates to be separated several times. Elizabeth didn’t really want to be the one who had to move – she held a fondness for that room since she and her husband shared it prior to his death two years ago. Hell, I understand that. The nursing home claims the two old ladies were happy together…that they’d walk together, say, “I love you” prior to falling asleep…and some of that is probably true. In my opinion, Elizabeth was more than likely a sweet old lady while Laura was a spoiled rotten brat with nothing to lose with her extreme plan to get some attention.
Laura found herself talking to an attorney and mapping out her insanity plea against the 2nd-degree murder charge. You know, people of that age have dementia and some mental health issues. Shit. Anyone who commits a fucked up crime has some kind of mental health issues. But really, if convicted, what the hell are they going to do with this old bat? District Attorney Sam Sutter said that Lundquist is believed to be the oldest murder defendant in Massachuttes’ history but also said the case was unlikely to go to trial because of her mental health issues. Bullshit. Try her, fry her. If she gets off, every loon in the bin will be strangling their roommates with their catheter tubes. It’ll be anarchy.
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