what do you do while sitting with the elderly?

  1. i am now working for a home care company and find that i sometimes get bored sitting with the elderly. i dearly love them but when you've gotten them dressed, fed, personal care done, light housekeeping done, what else do you do? we are required to stay in the same room, which is no problem except one of the people i've sat with has no where to sit in her bedroom and all she wants to do is stay in bed and watch tv. i try to keep myself busy picking up and such for her but just standing there by her bed is extremely boring and makes her nervous. her daughter does not want to put a chair in her room either. i got into trouble for sitting in the living room (even though i would go in about every 15 minutes to check on her) and was accused of doing nothing but watching tv in another room. the daughter is the one who wants all tv's on, and there was no sound coming from the living room tv so i wasn't really watching it at all. i hate that i got into trouble because it was only the third case i've been assigned but the daughter said i can not come back. :inserteyerollhere: i've gotten wonderful feedback on my other 2 cases, but still the fact that this one case reflects badly on me really bothers me.

    i guess i am asking this so that i can avoid this happening again.
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    About deewee

    Joined: Aug '09; Posts: 15; Likes: 2
    from US


  3. by   phdeha777456
    When preparing for your next assignment one good thing to do is find out everything you can about the patient prior to the assisgnment, what the family expect, what are the patients likes and dislikes. Take your time when bathing, dressing and use it as a means of communication with the patient you can get to know alot about them during these intimate times. Find out what the patient has done or will like to do for pleasure example, special TV shows (looking at old TV or movie shows), knitting, reading. Let your nurse manager know of the problems with your last case and get advise from her. I know taking care of patients in their homes is trying and can feel like an intrusion for you and the family but being up front with the family and the patient may help calm the stress. Move on and don't let one case get you down learn and grow from this experience, it will ease up as time goes on. I wish you well hang in there
  4. by   fuzzywuzzy
    I think that's kind of ridiculous that the daughter doesn't want you to have a chair. What does she expect from you and what is in your job description- is there a discrepancy there? I don't do home care but some of the family members in my facility have, um, really high expectations. Maybe this daughter thinks she's "not paying you to sit."

    Can you just sit on the floor? Bring a cushion? Maybe you should try to motivate this woman to play cards, do exercises, or walk a few laps around the house. But if she doesn't want to do anything but watch TV, you can't really make her!
  5. by   hawaiicna
    I am a new CNA and just started doing home health care.
    I had my first assignment last week, I had to stay at the client's house for a eight hour shift. I also had to always stay with the patient in his bedroom, but the family provides the aid's with a chair and small table, so I was able to do all my charting and read through the communication log. I had no idea there would be so much documentation involved. I pretty much kept busy, I go back on Saturday for long 12 hour shift, we'll see how this goes.
  6. by   Cyn2school
    phdeha777456 has great advice for you deewee,

    For a female, you could apply scented hand cream up past her elbows and then paint her fingernails. Look and see if there are any cosmetics in her br. Ask her, "would you like a little face powder, a little lipstick, blush (older women may call it "rouge") make her up! Ask her about her life when she was you age, what she did for fun, what she wore for clothes, how she wore her hair etc...

    Find a picture album and ask her about the persons in the photos, read her her favorite bible passages, look up recipes in a cookbook, or read the the newspaper. If theres a sun porch and she is ambulatory, get her up and change the scenery. "Mrs. Jones its beautiful outside today, lets go out on the porch"...make sure she has a wrap or a blanket to keep warm... read to her out there....or "Mrs. Jones, come keep me company while I sweep the porch, tidy the living room"...or whatever task needs to be done. She can sit there and watch you while you work...Great conversation starter talking about home decorating.

    I seem to get a lot of great l interactions with clients (Male and female) reading the newspaper, the Bible, whatever history type books (Time /Life type books, readers digest, history from WWII on...Ask family members for large print books or to bring a bunch of flowers you can arrange with her and put @ her bedside.

    Heck, I've even read seed catalogs and mail order catalogs to one client and had a great afternoon talking about gardening!

    As for your first case, the daughter sounds like an inexperienced twit. Sometimes one must tactfully "prepare a room" as I once had to call it and ask where/which chair to use. "I dont think it's professional to have me sitting on your fathers bed while we do cognitive activities" -She couldn't find a chair fast enough...Our cognitive activity? Reading the paper and drinking coffee.

    Enjoy the fun cases and grit your teeth with the not so good...
  7. by   thanrye8710
    1. before going to a patient, know everything you can about the patient. Health History, allowed activities, exercises, etc. Plan activities before you go to the house. If not restricted, you can do some simple exercises with the patient ex. walking, PROM/ROM exercises. Consider other recreational activities that the patient may enjoy such as board games, puzzles, etc.. REMEMBER: ALWAYS consider your patient's health status or diseases in planning activities.
    2. when you got into the house and some family members are present, ask regarding their expectation and what would they like you to do... Then suggest the activities you planned for your patient.
    3. Do your best and always consider your patient's safety and well being.

    Planning your time a head will be very helpful. Before you go on duty, plan a head the activities you will do including patient care for your entire shift making sure that each hour is set for something to keep you busy. Encourage patient to ambulate or exercise and participate in every activities you planned.
  8. by   Brandon2712
    I would have asked the daughter, "so I am just supposed to stand here?" Thats rediculous!