THIS Is Why I Love Geriatrics - page 3

Just had to share this great story from work today. Paul and Sylvia are a married couple living at my assisted-living facility. They've been there several years, and Paul's health has taken a huge... Read More

  1. by   vamedic4
    Quote from mjlrn97
    That's very sweet. Thank you.

    Sorry if you got embarrassed by sniffling in front of your co-workers!
    Nope, not embarassed. I'm a softie anyway. It's just so nice to read a post like that and you hope (at least I do) that someday, someone would do the same for me.

    Thanks again for sharing such a wonderful story.

    vamedic4
    My patient is asleep. Finally
  2. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Marla, your post brought tears to my eyes. How wonderful.
    It's these things that make it worth it.
  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    You all are very kind.

    I just hope that somewhere a new nurse, nursing student, or even prospective nursing student will read this and think about a career working with the elderly. It's not all diapers and drudgery, as many outside of the field may think; this is our Greatest Generation, who survived the Depression, brought our country safely through World War II, and presided over times of prosperity and civil unrest, only to see much of what they worked for eaten away by inflation and medical expenses in their sunset years. And when they are all gone, there will never again be another generation quite like them. No one can take their places.

    I also hope more people will consider geriatrics because my own generation is fast approaching its "golden years", and there aren't enough nurses to take care of us. No one knows exactly what sort of impact 76 million elderly will have on our country's economy, but almost everyone agrees that our care needs will overwhelm whatever resources are available.......unless, of course, our culture can somehow revise its youth-worshipping ways. Many other cultures revere their elders and treat them as valued members of society; if we are to accomodate the needs of upcoming generations of elderly, we must first learn to value the experience and wisdom they bring with them. Otherwise, growing old in America will become more and more something to be feared, as indeed a good many Baby Boomers believe in their heart of hearts, even now while we still have our health and a good ten to fifteen "productive" years ahead of us.

    Stepping down off my soapbox now.
  4. by   Artis
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Just had to share this great story from work today.

    Paul and Sylvia are a married couple living at my assisted-living facility. They've been there several years, and Paul's health has taken a huge nosedive in the past couple of months.........he's severely anemic, requiring blood transfusions every few weeks, and he's just gotten over his fourth bout of pneumonia since the first of the year. Sylvia, of course, knows that his time may be short, and she's not in the best of health herself; in fact, she and I have had some private conversations (not to mention hugs and a couple of good cries) about "later", and how we as a facility will support her and help her get through it.

    Well, this morning a rumor got started that today was their 56th wedding anniversary, a story that was promptly confirmed by the couple, although they "didn't want any fuss made" and appeared to be almost embarrassed when the administrator announced it at lunch. Their sons and daughters had sent them a huge flower arrangement, so at least there was some acknowledgement of the day...........and then a couple of us staff members got to thinking about what we could do to help them celebrate for real. After all, we thought, how many anniversaries do Paul and Sylvia have left?

    So I asked them if they had any plans; they said No, so I asked them where they'd go to eat if they DID have plans. Sylvia promptly mentioned a local place they both enjoyed, and off I went to see what we could do about it. Soon everybody was in on it: the administrator, the lead med aide, the office manager, the other staff.........everybody, that is, but Paul and Sylvia. A dinner was ordered for delivery by the chosen restaurant; somebody dug out some white Christmas lights to decorate with; I sent my hubby and the lead med aide to my house to dig out some of the decorations we used at our silver anniversary party last year.

    Between the lot of us, the anniversary couple ended up with a dinner fit for kings, and a fancy table on the second floor balcony to sit at and be waited on by the administrative staff. There were fresh flowers picked right out of the garden out back; silver candles; roses and confetti arranged on the table; white twinkle lights festooning the balcony; even a festive dessert specially prepared for the celebrants.

    To see the smiles on the faces of those two precious people made every bit of effort worthwhile. Sylvia was crying; Paul was doing everything he could NOT to cry, and they were both so happy and so surprised that they could hardly speak! We told them we wanted to have an anniversary to remember, and that's exactly what they got............they both said even if they lived another 20 years and forgot their own names, they would never forget this night.

    And THAT'S why I love what I do.
    What a lovely story and thank you for sharing!! This is what true nursing is about!! Its so nice to know that nursing is not all about working with mean nurses and crabby managers.
    Thanks
  5. by   rgillespie
    I worked as a nursing home receptionist, then I went to volunteer at hospice, and now at age 57 I am starting nursing school. I love geriatrics too! I used to take the residents who didn't have many, if any, visitors, home for the holidays (with permission of staff and their family). There are so many stories to share about these wonderful times. If any of you ever need a BIG HUG or a WARM FUZZY, try visiting a nursing home, or doing someothing kind for a shut in; i.e. bouquet of flowers, card, give them a nice old-fashioned hankie, etc. When I go grocery shopping, I look around me and try to find some elderly person who needs some help. (Look for facial expressions, clothing their wearing, if they're only buying food for one, are taking many minutes to decide on one thing since they have limited fund, etc.) I then go through the checkout and tell the cashier to add their groceries on to mine. The cashiers all know me as the "mystery angel". I've seen tears of happiness, people look to heaven for thanks, and many other reactions. Try it some time!
  6. by   botch92
    marla what a wonderfull thing to do-- how special you & your company are to do that ... way to go-----
  7. by   georgeswife
    I work in LTC and I love hearing that I was missed and no one takes care of me like you do. Or when I show up in a room, "Finally someone who knows what to do" even from a confused person. I have one lady who has morning back pain, not many people give her a pain pill because they don't listen. That is one of the things that I am good at, listening.
  8. by   Sheyen
    I have been a CNA for ten years, the nursing home I am working at now I have worked there for a year. I will never say I am the best CNA, or even that great of one. But I do my job, and the reason I prefere the elderly over the babies is one main reason, and this is WHY I do my job:
    It would be too hard for me to take care of ababy who is very sick, they havent had the chance yet, to live, to laugh, to smile, to get bad grades, first kiss, have a baby, wedding of their dreams, and see their children growup, but the elderly have had this chance. One of my residents just breaks my heart, she is 37 and in the middle stages of alzheimers type dementia, YES, ALZHEIMERS! She has been married for about twelve years, has an 8 year old and 3 year old child, and will never get to see them grow up, or grandchildren. LIke her mother and sister, she will be dead by 40, and this is UNFAIR! But I am there to hold her while she cries (she now thinks her husband hates her), and share with her what I have.
    For years when I am teasing, yes I say I am a buttwiper, but there is soo much more than that, hugs, laughter tears and getting to know them as people, as the human beings, and showing them the respect for surviving this life, that we all struggle thru.
    AS you said, this might be the last anniversary they get to spend together, hopefully it will be the first memory they have when they meet up again. We are not just advocates, we have to help them live, by allowing them to live vicariously thru us, sharing our families, our lives and our dreams with them, so they still feel a sense of belonging, and you did that to the utmost.
  9. by   grace90
    What your facility pulled together for that couple is wonderful! Way to go!
  10. by   meintheUSA
    I work in LTC... One special little lady has her "Good days" and her "Bad days". I always ask her if she would like some applesause when I arrive at work. (I work night shift). She is very appreciative of the treat. One special night when she was thanking and hugging me, I stated, "Oh Ollie, I love you"

    She replyed, "Yes, God makes us do that sometimes"....

    Now when I think back upon how we go about our "Jobs", God just makes, or allows us to do that sometimes!!!!

    God bless us, each and every caregiver that "gives"
  11. by   twotrees2
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Just had to share this great story from work today.

    Paul and Sylvia are a married couple living at my assisted-living facility. They've been there several years, and Paul's health has taken a huge nosedive in the past couple of months.........he's severely anemic, requiring blood transfusions every few weeks, and he's just gotten over his fourth bout of pneumonia since the first of the year. Sylvia, of course, knows that his time may be short, and she's not in the best of health herself; in fact, she and I have had some private conversations (not to mention hugs and a couple of good cries) about "later", and how we as a facility will support her and help her get through it.

    Well, this morning a rumor got started that today was their 56th wedding anniversary, a story that was promptly confirmed by the couple, although they "didn't want any fuss made" and appeared to be almost embarrassed when the administrator announced it at lunch. Their sons and daughters had sent them a huge flower arrangement, so at least there was some acknowledgement of the day...........and then a couple of us staff members got to thinking about what we could do to help them celebrate for real. After all, we thought, how many anniversaries do Paul and Sylvia have left?

    So I asked them if they had any plans; they said No, so I asked them where they'd go to eat if they DID have plans. Sylvia promptly mentioned a local place they both enjoyed, and off I went to see what we could do about it. Soon everybody was in on it: the administrator, the lead med aide, the office manager, the other staff.........everybody, that is, but Paul and Sylvia. A dinner was ordered for delivery by the chosen restaurant; somebody dug out some white Christmas lights to decorate with; I sent my hubby and the lead med aide to my house to dig out some of the decorations we used at our silver anniversary party last year.

    Between the lot of us, the anniversary couple ended up with a dinner fit for kings, and a fancy table on the second floor balcony to sit at and be waited on by the administrative staff. There were fresh flowers picked right out of the garden out back; silver candles; roses and confetti arranged on the table; white twinkle lights festooning the balcony; even a festive dessert specially prepared for the celebrants.

    To see the smiles on the faces of those two precious people made every bit of effort worthwhile. Sylvia was crying; Paul was doing everything he could NOT to cry, and they were both so happy and so surprised that they could hardly speak! We told them we wanted to have an anniversary to remember, and that's exactly what they got............they both said even if they lived another 20 years and forgot their own names, they would never forget this night.

    And THAT'S why I love what I do.
    yes i agree wholeheartedly - i love my job just for the very reason you show- its the little things we do and i love doing em. i am "the cookie lady" cause i buy the whole building cookies for the nights i work ( diabetics included get sugarless and i am "the only one who asks if she has pain and takes care of her right " according to one husband - and am brought yummy veggies from another hubbies garden as he tells me he wishes i worked more ( i only do part time ) and it sure makes you feel good when someone smiles and says they are so glad you are on for the night cause they love you back and yes i do love everyone of my residents - cant help it lol - know we ain't supposed to but just cant help it. cry when they die - hold their hand as they die - bring them music disks even give out my last dollar and get them a treat ( if they can have it ) - i never fit into areas like OB , ICU, etc - but i found my niche in geriatrics and am dang proud of it - those that say ewww to me when they find out get a good tongue lashing telling them i will pray they get someone who actually wants to be there with them and love thme when they get to need it - they generally will think on it and agree. i give kudos for all nurses that have found their niche and stayed there - i have good friends that when i needed OB was grateful they were there and stayed extra though they did not have to to be there with me- best nurses there because they LOVED it - everyone eventually finds their niche and i love mine
  12. by   marjoriemac
    I love care home nursing as you feel like you have an extended family. Our residents know when you've been away, they know if you're not feeling too good, they know they can trust in you. It does not matter if my name is ? and they call me marjorie or crusty as they feel safe with me. Everyday is familiar and yet refreshing, some things our residents say are wise, some are confusing, some are funny and some things my residents say make me blush and I am only 25! Never mind life begins at 40, life begins at 70, 80. 90, wherever an older person is given the opportunity to live and thrive and to feel 'at home'. BIG CHEER FOR ALL CARE HOME STAFF OUT THERE, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
  13. by   -Midget-
    I can't rememeber if I've posted in this thread or not. I don't think I have, but if I have, I'd like to say this again anyway. Marla, your post has inspired me since the very first time I've read it. Each time I come back to read to see new replies, more tears come to my eyes. It's the stories that people have shared in this thread, that make me shiver with excitement of being able to touch the lives of my future patients and future colleagues like you all have. I hope I get to work with people like each and every one of you. And yes, the thread, along with caring for my grandma, and getting to know the nurses at her nurses home, and hopsice folks, has me considering doing at least a stint of my career in geriatrics. Thank you very much! *grabs a tissue*

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