I'm a 1st semester LPN student and just finished a 4 day clinical placement at a LTC facility.
Since I am still so new, the only duties we could perform were very basic. Transfers, AM care, feeding etc.
I really, REALLY tried my best to keep a positive attitude about LTC, but I found it SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO depressing!!! The facility I was at had about 100 residents, all quite elderly and ill.
I was assigned to a very sweet 82 year old woman who had had multiple strokes. I didn't think she could speak, but on day 4, we had a long conversation, although speech is quite difficult for her.
After AM care and breakfast, a lot of the residents want to stay in their spot in the dining room, and they all doze off in their wheelchairs. A few of the less ill/more active ones will wheel over to the common area TV, or to an activity, but most just doze.
Then lunch and to their rooms for a nap. Most of the residents seem lonley, bored and very unhappy!!!
My wonderful lady told me during our conversation that she HATES it there. The other residents are so disruptive, she doesn't sleep well and it's her prison
. I had already become attached to her and excused myself after giving her a hug so she wouldn't see me cry.
The facility is actually quite good in terms of care. She is getting a warm, comfortable room, pretty decent food etc. Her incredibly dedicated husband visits her EVERY SINGLE DAY for hours. Without him, she would probably will herself to die.
Anyways, I just wanted to get the whole experience out there. I have been thinking about it non stop all week. It reaffirmed for me that I DON'T want to work in LTC when I'm finished my program.
I do plan to visit this wonderful lady once a week, as the facility is quite close to my home. Hopefully, I can help make her last years somewhat more enjoyable. The whole "prison" comment just stabbed me in the heart