In the mind of the elderly

  1. This is a story told to me by another nurse in the LTC setting. There was an elderly woman who was in need of a stool softner who was not wanting to take it. As the nurse tried to persuade the woman to take it, the woman continued to say she didn't need it. Finally the woman asked the nurse how she knew that she needed it and the nurse replied, "because the paper says you do." The woman was beside herself thinking, in her mind, that the nurse was referring to the daily newspaper and that everyone in town now knew that SHE HADN'T HAD A BM IN 3 DAYS. The nurse, of course, was referring to the BM chart "paper".
    The horror that went through the elderly lady's mind. We have to watch how we word what we say.

    Michelle
    Last edit by michellelpn on Sep 21, '01
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   michellelpn
    Let me know if you have encountered similiar experiences when working with elderly.
  4. by   donmurray
    Let's just say that our ward cleaner's warning sign "WET FLOOR!" now reads "SLIPPERY FLOOR!"
  5. by   CarolineRn
    LMAO!!!! These are too funny!
  6. by   welcare
    When we were students in the ward, we took TPR for patients everyday and had to chart their BM. One of my friends encountered this. When she asked a young patient if he had his BM. He said,'Yes, do you?'
  7. by   KatWright
    I had the honor of caring for an elderly man who knew he was dying and he just couldn't handle the urinal anymore. I let him know that I would help him with whatever he wanted, external catheter, depends or indwelling catheter. One day right after his family left, he said, "Hey, come here, we need to talk. It's time. I need a catheter. But I don't wast the Irish one, I had one before and it was awful !!" I was a bit confused ...Irish?? He said "Yeah, you know a Foley." Of course I wanted to LMAO. But with all of the seriouness that I could muster, I said, "OK. Don't worry, I'll take care of everything, I'll get a number 18 French Catheter." He was soooo calm after that & I put in the French catheter. What a hoot.
  8. by   Slowone
    So, 82 year old Tillie is walking down the hall toward me and I noticed she had her left shoe on the right foot and the right shoe on the left foot.

    "Tillie", I said, "your shoes are on the wrong feet"

    She looked down at her feet, looked back at me as if I was a complete idoit and replied "No....these are my feet"
  9. by   kids
    I was working swing shift at a SNF and was considered the IV wiz kid...an IV bag ran low on another section and the PM supervisor went down to change it. I saw super come down the hall only to turn back because the pump was alarming several times. Finally she called me down and said "I don't know whats the matter with these damn new pumps, it keeps alarming no flow". We walked into the room and to the bedside as she was saying that she had checked everything she could think of and couldn't find a reason for the alarms. You should have seen the look on her face when after I looked at the pump and the patient I said to her...MOM, the IV wont flow if the patient doesn't have a pulse! Yep...little old lady had gone to heaven, and the supervisor was my Mom with 30 years as an RN!
  10. by   KIWIRN
    early in my career i was nursing a little lady who had alzheimer's, she was usually very prim and proper, until we tried to give her supps one day, she started yelling "Harry!(her husband), you're in the wrong hole again Harry!! the wrong hole!" it was hard to keep a straight face especially when Harry a sweet fellow, visted every day. LOL
  11. by   Carer
    Yes I am a Carer to the Elderly I have been for the last 9 years, and you have to go so careful how you word/ phrase things to the Elderly. Even more so if there are in a confused state of mind.
    The Nurse should have Explained that she was going to write that information on the ladies MEDICAL PAPERS. Then there would have been on Confusion of worry for the lady. As I would say that that situation really worried her as she thought that her private Information was going to go into THE NEWSPAPER. IT DOESNT TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO THINK HOW YOU ARE GOING TO WORD your sayings to the Elderly. Think before you speak to the elderly as they may worry as YOU the Carer/ Nurse know your procedure THE ELDERLY DONT!!!
  12. by   Carer
    no confusion [sorry]
  13. by   OntRPN
    WE have a resident who is 103 sharp mind and does most everthing for herself (i work in a retirement home) The other morning I went in to give her insulin and after we were done she looked at me hummed an said "you know something I think I am getting old" got love her just starting to feel it at 103.
    I chuckled for the rest of the day now I know why I love my job
  14. by   Carer
    Wow the lady is 103 bless her I like the comment that she made. The oldest lady I looked after was 95 and she was very funny at times as well. It is comments like that lady made that to me it makes your job worth while and not dull and boring. And you know why you love working with the Elderly.

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In the mind of the elderly