Sunday, August 24, 2008


Before you read this post,I want you to do me a favor.Sit back close your eyes and think of some person (still living) you knew in your community that was well respected,classy,or maybe an important figure in your or others life's. I am talking maybe 10-15 or more years ago.Do you have that person in mind????

Now I want you to picture them as you see them today.Maybe 15 years older, more dependent on others for help.

Having grown up in a small town I know many people.I have been involved in community and church programs so I've met many people.That can be a great thing and I am thankful to know these people some whom i still enjoy talking to.
The down side to this is also seeing them get older and coming to live in the Nursing Home where I work.Seeing behaviors or hearing them say things that you know they never would have said.Cursing at you, Standing in the doorway of their rooms half dressed and not caring.Hearing them yell at their spouse and say nasty things to us staff.Having to be fed,changed, bathed.... I can go on and on.
If I have learned anything thing it is to try my darnedest to still let these people have dignity.To other staff who never knew Mabel who always was made up with the nicest dress,hair always done and a warm smile and a kind word to everyone, who now does not want to dress, fights with everyone,curses you when you offer to help her my heart breaks.For I know if Mabel knew how she was behaving she would want to run and hide.When good old Barney from down the street is sitting in a wheel chair yelling things, I try to remind myself he would NEVER have done that before.
As I was helping one very kind 93 year old man get dressed today he summed it up great. I have often thought this but hearing him say it hit me hard.
Now these were his words so excuse the language.
He said," We come into the world as babies, and we wet and shit our self and wear a diaper.Then you work hard for years and take care of yourself and for what,you get old and you piss and shit in your pants because you just can't control it any more or it just comes out.And you have to have someone take care of you again.
They call these the GOLDEN YEARS,bull shit it is not.You just wish you could die.Who ever wants to end up like this."
How to you respond to this tough old farm boy???
I just said,yes ________, you come into this world like a baby and often you leave like one too.It just does not seem right.
I felt like he knew I UNDERSTOOD his frustrations,and I felt that maybe I made just a small difference by showing him I cared and understood.
So I often remind myself that Mable and Old barney would never have done that before and to understand their behaviors.

I gues what I am trying to say is just because a person shows change in personality and looks, they are really the same sweet person I once knew.It is not always to remember that as you are getting yelled at,pinched,slapped or what ever.

I do ask that you pray for more workers.Our staffing is a major problem (just like any other nursing home) and we are always in need of CNA's.It scares me to think of the future of our elderly and the shortness of workers in the


Janet said...

Thanks, Mr. B, for bringing this to our attention. It is is to forget that these people were once completely different.

k1 said...

Thank you

insanemommy said...

You are so right! I know that I am not nearly the ball of sunshine I once were... You are talking about me, right???!? lol But, yes you are so right. We all unfortunately will get old one day. It would be nice if we were remembered for that kind hearted person we once were.