Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The day time slowed down...

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! ;)

7 comments:

Sam said...

You are awesome. I'm so happy you're sharing your experiences with this job with us because it is so interesting and eye-opening to read.

pinkflipflops said...

my grandpa has dementia and i am so sick of what is going to happen as it progresses. it is truly one of the worst things to watch to happen to someone.

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am glad that your experience has been positive so far. I think it takes a special person to work with the elderly. So many of them are mistreated in those sort of settings and it's so sad. I am glad that a person like you is working in that setting as I can see you being so good at that since you have such compassion.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! Can't wait to hear more about it :)

I think I would like working with the elderly too. I'm thinking about doing some volunteer work so it might have to be something I look into!

brown eyed girl said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I grew up going to the nursing home my gma worked at, there's always some characters there! Its really a blessing for so many of them to have someone to talk to and interact with because oftentimes family members don't visit frequently. And I totally agree with the "treat them like they're your grandparents" notion. So glad you're liking it!

Kara said...

That sounds like such a rewarding position to have! Seniors, with dementia or not, have so many amazing things to share. I loved spending time with my Nana just because of the stories she's tell me. And they're a hoot, especially when they crack a joke you'd never expect them to tell. (Sex jokes from seniors? Oh my! lol)

I can't wait to hear more about it!

woodlandsblonde said...

Sounds like you will never be short of patience :)