You wake up slowly, open your eyes and……where am I? Four white walls, white door, brown door…….This is not my bedroom; where is the chest of drawers inherited from granny, my pictures, ornaments and the yellow wallpaper? Where am I, where are the boys, it’s light, I must find……what?! My boys where are my boys?Imagine
You get out of bed, unsteady, dizzy…where am I? How do I get out…must get out, this door that door?…..Long dim corridor full of brown doors, where are the, where are they?! Someone coming, someone in white, more white…..talking at me. What is she saying? I don’t understand…where are my boys? “Go back to bed!”. But I must find them, must find them…. “It’s only five o’clock in the morning, go back to bed!”….but where are they ,must find them. Hands on my arm, pulling me….no, no I must find them, where are my boys? Let me go…who are you, let me go. You push the figure in white away, frightened. She has stopping you from finding..…them. “She’s being aggressive again”…who is she talking about…..me? Another figure, blue this time. “What’s wrong, Mary”? She talks to me not at me. I understand her. She does not shout or pull at me.
My boys, where are my boys. “They are at home asleep”, she says…but where am I …where am I… “You stay with us now, Mary, remember, you’ve been here a while. Your boys know where you are. They will be in to see you later. Mary it’s only 5 o’clock in the morning. Let’s go back to bed, eh?” Back along that corridor….all doors, more doors. Into a room, white walls, white doors. "Do you need to go to the toilet Mary?" What, what… “Sit here, Mary, on the toilet”. Toilet,toilet…oh yes that’s what I want….Tired, need to sleep....boys later, later…….
Imagine how it feels, confused, alone, lost in your own head, in the big noisy world of a Nursing Home. Long corridors of doors each one looking exactly the same as the last one you passed. When those doors are open there is a cacophony of noise emanating from each one with each individual room resident having their own individual tastes in TV, radio or DVD’s all played at high volume. Staff rush at you speaking so quickly that the confused mind just cannot process the information quickly and therefore become more confused when confronted by time-pressed ,overstretched staff who want to do their best for the resident but are always fighting a losing battle with the clock and the limited resources with which they work. This is were confusion can turn to aggression because we simply do not give enough time for their brain’s to process the information and act upon it. They are not being obstructive on purpose, they just cannot understand at the pace at which we are going.
Imagine losing the ability to recognise not only your nearest and dearest but the simple everyday things of life such as the toilet, the way to your room and back again, the use of cutlery and even the fact that you have to eat at all. Imagine being told something and just simply not remembering it seconds later (and yes, we all have our ‘senior moments’!), but being able to remember 40 -50 years before with a startling clarity that brings tears to the eyes of those lucky enough to hear the tales of yester year and bring a poor, demented soul to life as they were before they succumbed to the living Hell commonly know as dementia.
In our fast and often frantic working environments we often forget to slow down the pace for our elderly residents. In a quiet minute try imagining what it is like in their shoes. It is confusing and lonely and scary. We are the ones who can make it different for them; we are the ones who must care.Last edit by sirI on Jul 3, '08
Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 4,307; Likes: 1,525
elderly care night sister
Specialty: Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology.Jul 8, '08IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE, BUT IF ONE WORKS IN THIS CONSTANT ENVIRONMENT, WITH DAILY TEACHING OF WHAT THE ELDERLY SEE, OR THINK THEY SEE, OR WHAT THEY BELIEVE THEY SEE.. I WONDER WHAT THEY SEE EVERYDAY, " AM I GOING TOO SEE THIS AS WELL..." THAT WAS BEUTIFULLY WRITTEN, AND SO TRUE!!!Jul 10, '08Awe, that brought tears to my eyes... I want to work in PEDS/NICU -but this really touched my heart... I helped take care of my granddad when he was diagnosed with lung cancer- and he stayed with us until he passed away... It was very hard seeing him in so much pain- and sometimes he would talk about hearing the stream outside his window from his childhood- that wasn't really there at all- and talk about skipping rocks with his dad- whom of course died a long time ago- it was hard looking into his eyes and knowing he would not be here that much longer- I tried to do everything I could to help out- and I was only 15.
Spending time with him meant so much to me- and I can see why anyone would want to brighten up a Nursing Home- and care for the elderly- I hope more nurses to take the time and spend some time getting to know their patients... You seem like you really care- and that is hard to find in this fast pace life!
Keep changing the world- and keep being the caring you!
~AudreyLast edit by sirI on Jul 14, '08Jul 10, '08very well said. you took me there. i imagined it. it was not a nice place. thank you for that visualization. it is something that we all need to "see", for the sake of all of our patients, whether they are suffering from alzheimers, dementia, or temporary abberations due to a temporary condition. again thank you.
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