How do you keep your faith in LTC?

  1. I work full time in a LTC, and feel as if my faith in God has been crushed out of me. After a long day of resident's finger painting, repetative screaming, coma patients and the depressed look on many residents faces, I often ask myself, "How could God condone this loss of dignity and quality of life?" Does anyone else feel this way, or is it just me?
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    About al586

    Joined: Feb '11; Posts: 81; Likes: 133


  3. by   artsmom
    Maybe you need out of LTC? My mom felt like you and had to get out- it was far too depressing for her. Personally, I love LTC. The repetitive screaming certainly hurts my head, and the sad faces are sad, but try to think that this is likely their disease, and they would be in a bad state no matter where they were.

    Different stroke for different folks.
  4. by   NamasteNurse
    I think everyone must feel that way some days, it's impossible not to if you have a heart. I don't really believe in "god" as the big guy in the sky kinda god, but I do wonder why this happens to people. Some days I think, "we treat our animals better". We keep people alive long after they should be let to go, just because we are medically able to!

    That being said, I am very good at what I do. I LOVE the residents because they become my family. Most of them have limited visits from family members, so I am their family, the one they see almost every day, the one who hugs them hello and sits down for a minute to have a little chat. Most of my fellow nurses think I'm nuts to get so close to the residents, but that's how I am and it sounds like that's how you are too.

    If I think about it, yes, I get sad for them and feel the loss of dignity etc. But, I can make them smile, and do the little extras that make their day a little better. We can only make their last days more bareable. They are in the siutation they are in and feeling bad won't help. You can empathize and feel their pain, but in the end you are making their last days and years as good as they can be. Keep them comfortable, give a little love and move on. Yes it's really really hard, some days worse than others. But someone has to do it, and it should be someone with feelings. Hang in there. Or if you really can't, go. best wishes,
  5. by   tokebi
    Can you find any positive things that go on there? At the facilities I used to work, we had movies with popcorn, ice cream days, and such, which residents loved. Comatose residents with feeding tubes can be depressing to see, but it made me smile when I walk into their rooms and see that the CNA brushed and braided their hair, lips moisturized, and linens nice and crisp.

    I got so many comments like, "It must be so depressing working in a nursing home!" Well, it is what it is. But we have the opportunity to make it not such a depressing place by our attitude and all the little things we can do to brighten up the residents' days.
  6. by   al586
    Thank you all for your responses! I cannot express how grateful I am for your comments. It's nice to know there are people out there who understand, and to remind me why I chose LTC in the first place.
  7. by   BrandonLPN
    See, I've never bought into the common perception that nursing homes are depressing or somehow rob the residents of their dignity. My residents are clothed, fed, cared for and generally happy. And when I see how many of their families neglect them, I shudder to think how they would fare if still at home.

    Heck, even the seedier nursing homes provide a basic level of care that these discarded members of society would ever get "out there".

    And, frankly, when other nurses (usually acute care nurses) tell me they could *never* work in LTC 'cause it's too depressing or "dirty", I can't help but feel like they're just being snobbish. I wanna say, you're right, you never *could* do my job. But not because you're too good for it...
  8. by   LTCNS
    Brandon, thank God for nurses like you

    I had become burned out on LTC not because of the residents, but because of management, and I used to love LTC. However, I am ashamed to say that because those precious people need nurses, aides, managers, ancillary staff, etc...who care enough to give them the time of day and try to make them as comfortable and content as possible.

    As hard as I have tried to get away from LTC and into a clinic or other area, apparently the good Lord wants me to stay where He called me, and that is in LTC. I have an interview Monday morning with a cute little homey LTC home in a small town and I look forward to it. When God calls us to do something in particular, He tries hard to keep us going in that direction one way or another

    al586, always remember there are people in this world who need others to care for them, whether it's a young child or an elderly person. It takes people like you with hearts of gold and full of compassion to let them know we care and will do everything humanly possible to make their days on this Earth better. God bless you!
  9. by   MomjessB
    I believe that the nurses and activities needs to work together to help the residents quality of life. It's little things like changing g- tube feeding times so the resident can go to activities to see other people even if they don't participate. Having a sensory group for lower functioning residents. We have a game room that our high functioning residents like to hang out in and play chess and Trivial Pursuit. Also, working with local churches to get regular visitors in, especially for residents with no family around. I give my residents hugs and kisses and try to take the time to listen to them when they are feeling down. All of these things are at least as important as medications.
  10. by   08libbs
    I also work in long term care and at times it is difficult to see the sad faces but I find that the hope that God gives us in the Bible is what sustains me. As stated at James 1:13 "when under trial let no one say I am being tried by God for with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone" we see that God does not cause the suffering we experience, however you are right he does let it go on but WHY does god allow suffering why doesn't he just stop it ? It all started with Adam and Eve in the garden of eden. When Satan deceived Eve into eating the fruit from the tree which God had told them not to he asserted that God is a bad ruler for mankind. You can read this account at Genesis 3:1-5. In verses 4 and 5 is where we find Satan challenging God's right to rule by saying : " You positively will not die. For God knows that in the very day of your eating from it your eyes are bound to be opened and you are bound to be like God knowing good and bad." Satan claimed that God was a bad ruler witholding good things from his subjects (mankind). Satan implied that mankind would be better off without God's rulership. Since Satan claimed that he would be a better ruler for mankind than God he has been given the time to prove whether he really is a better ruler than God. What do you think ? Can Satan rule mankind better than God ? 1 John 5:19 states: "...the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one" obviously the wicked one would be Satan the Devil. The world today is under the control of Satan the Devil so under his rule what have humans experienced ? Nothing good. Today we suffer terribly we get sick we grow old and we die or lose loved ones in death-that is the kind of ruler Satan is. Under God's rule however mankind was to LIVE FOREVER never grow old or get sick and they were to fill the earth with people make the whole earth a paradise and enjoy HAPPY HEALTHY Lives FOREVER ! (Genesis Chapter 1 and 2) It was only after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sinned that DEATH entered the picture (Romans 5:12). So it was NEVER God's puropse for people to get sick grow old or die, and God's puropse has never changed. The hope God promises for the future can e be found throughout the ENTIRE BIBLE but just a few of my favorite scriptures on that subject are found at Psalms 37:9-11, 29; Revelation 21:4, Isaiah 65:25; Isaiah 33:24 just to name a few. In fact here in the near future we Nurses will no longer be needed because God's puropse will be fullfilled and mankind will no longer get sick grow old or die. I hope this explanation might help you to regain you fath in God. If you would like more information on this subject or any other Bible question I strongly encourage you to contact JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES in you local area or go to and search for more answers, you can even fill out a request online for someone to stop by your home to share more Bible thoughts with you and answer you Bible questions FREE of charge.
  11. by   BrandonLPN
    Some people ask: How could a perfect God create a universe that is full of so much evil and suffering?

    They have overlooked an even more obvious and fundamental question: Why would a perfect God create a universe at all?

    The only logical thing we can do is to accept we'll never understand the will of God, and try to live our lives the best we can.
  12. by   cienurse
    When my Dad was dying, we had him at home on Hospice. One day, our family priest came to give Dad last rights and communion. As I stood next to the bed, the priest offered me communion. I politely said, "No thank you, Father, I have not been to church or confession for ages so I cannot receive." The priest looked at me said, "You do God's work every day with the care you provide to the sick and elderly. Please accept communion for them and your father." Which I did, with tears streaming down my face for the kind and thoughtful message the priest had given me. I've been in LTC for greater than 36 years and I do believe its a calling. And I try every day to visit the activity and dayrooms to sing a song, hold a hand, give a hug, or just reminisce with the residents. It seems to bring a smile to even those faces who otherwise look depressed. I couldn't imagine myself ever doing anything else!
  13. by   Havin' A Party!
    It's not E-Z! ;>)