I am one of those people that can never find enough time in the day. I've always said I would be so much happier if each day had an extra 6 hours. Round it up to 30 hours a day and imagine how
much sleep I would get productive I would be!
Well, today slowed down quite a bit for me. I was literally forced to slow down and stop to smell the roses. Literally.
Today was my first day actually working with the residents at the nursing home and I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I was there from 7:30 to 3:30 so I got to spend quite a bit of time with each of the residents. There were about 20 of them in my hall and all of them are at moderate levels of dementia. Some have no idea who they are or what they did in their lifetime and then there are others which can hold quite intelligent conversations with you. At first I was worried about figuring out which ones were further along in their dementia then others, but I found out right away that you just know. It's pretty obvious which ones have reverted back to toddler years and which ones haven't. One of the residents family members was there visiting during lunchtime and she told me to basically pretend that I have twenty 2 year olds running around. Not sure if I agreed with the way she put that, but it's basically how I have to think. The woman I was training with said to try my hardest to treat each resident the way I would treat my own grandparent so that is what I am doing.
So, back to slowing down. The day did not go by fast by any means. 90 year old people do not move fast. They move very s....l....o....w.... so I was forced to stop and enjoy the time.
We went on walks. We tossed a beach ball around. We smelled the flowers outside. We listened to the piano. We played trivia for seniors. We had snacktime (twice). We had breakfast. We had lunch. We had conversation (well, some did). We folded laundry. We cleaned the tables.
I already have a few "favorite" residents and I just know I am going to look forward to seeing them every week. There's Ed, who apparently adores me (and I'm told not to fall for that!) and followed me around all day. Literally every time I turned around Ed was right behind me grinning. Then there was Esther, who is by far my favorite. She reminds me of my grandma, she is sassy and oh so adorable. She's super tiny and has beautiful grayish blue eyes and a great grin. Her dementia is moderate and she thinks another resident in our hall, Dorothy, is her mother. She's constantly "taking care" of Dorothy and sometimes even calls her Rosetta, which was Esther's mothers name.
I am positive this position is going to help prepare me even more for working with kids while also being a job I feel good about doing. I am definitely making their lives a little better and a little bit more enjoyable, which is so important to me. I could definitely do this job full-time while in grad school, which is what I am hoping is what ends up happening. My fingers are crossed it works out! ;)