one of my favorite moments... elderly pt

  1. I guess one of my favorite moments was when one of our elderly patients... a most kind, gentle, and humble man... was told by his PCP that he would soon have to give up is home and go to a nursing home. For more than a week this gentleman was visibly disturbed. His usual smile had all but disappeared, and his face was troubled.. depressed and anxious.

    I could bear it no longer. I went to my patient and pulled up a stool. I took his hand and asked him if he would share his troubles with me. He slowly and timidly began to tell me the story of his life.. his two twin sons, one of whom had drowned.. why his home meant everything to him... and how if he had to go to a NH, it would surely be the "end" for him. He prided himeself on his independence as was eveident in his wellkempt and welldressed appearance.

    His diabetic neuropathy was causing his legs to become nearly nonfunctional, and he was now in a wheelchair. He had no one who would look after him at home, and his PCP was fearful of him falling. He was determined not to go to a NH, however, yet felt he had no recourse.

    I felt I HAD to persue this further and find out just what other options might be available to him. With some apprehension due to my "new grad" status, I approached our social worker and our NM with my concerns. With the help of the SW, we contacted community members, church members, etc. and found an aide who would come in and assisit him twice dailey, and check on him before bed. We made sure he had a "call button/ emerg'y alert" to wear about his neck.

    I told him I could not guarantee that he would never have to go to LTC, but that togehter with our NM, and SW, we would prolong it as long as possible, and that ultimately, it was HIS choice.. and that noone could MAKE him go.

    The smile that crept across this humble face was priceless, and I shall treasure it in my heart always. He reached out and took my hand in his, and as tears fell softly onto both our hands, he whispered "thank you".

    He went on to tell me that nobody had ever gone out of their way for him like this before... intervened on his behalf...that he felt as though somebody truly took an interest in a "useless old man's concerns".. that somebody had actually LISTENED with more than the ears, but with their heart. He said that alone made him feel like a new man.

    This taught me anew that there are so MANY facets to nursing... and that it goes way beyond the routine care... that which "must" be done.

    It means listening with the heart and caring enough to stop and respond to the call.
    And understanding that our patients are first and foremost human beings with needs and desires and pride and dignity and longings.... no different than our own.
    Last edit by brian on Jul 3, '04
  2. Visit jnette profile page

    About jnette, ASN, EMT-I

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 21,359; Likes: 7,204
    Home Health Patient Education Resource Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience in Hemodialysis, Home Health


  3. by   LPN2be2005
    What a wonderful and inspirational story! Thank you for sharing!Anjie
  4. by   prmenrs
    It puts a smile on my face, too, jnette!
  5. by   Wanabe
    Great story, thanks for sharing. sniffle sniffle
  6. by   leslie :-D
    that's what it's all about jnette. better yet, that's what YOU'RE all about.

    thank God for you.

    leslie xoxo
  7. by   Farkinott
    It's great to hear a story that respects our elders.
  8. by   suzy253
    that's so beautiful jnette. you are such an inspiration to me because that is exactly what i want to do for my patients. you're truly wonderful in every sense! :blushkiss
  9. by   Energizer Bunny
    Netters, you truly are an amazing person. Thank you for the story and thank you for YOU!
  10. by   Audreyfay
    Those are the stories that help us keep doing what we're doing. It's respecting others and treating them the way we would want to be treated. You are truly an angel of mercy! :angel2:
  11. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    With Dad's TIA's the center of the family's attention (I've posted about it here recently and received some terrific feedback and support), the one "child" who has not been able to support herself for any long period of time and her husband who is "disabled" due to reasons known only to God are already planning on moving in with him. The husband is already making statements about what furniture can stay, etc., etc.

    I want to keep Dad as independent as he wants to be as long as that's a safe thing to do.

    He no more wants one of his children moving in with him (much less the spouse) than he would want another hole in his head.

    So thank you for your story and the creativity it has inspired. When the time comes for him to need more support, I know exactly where we can draw the support from.

    Thanks, Jnette.
  12. by   mandykal
    Thats what our career calls us for; "To go beyond the call when needed."

    THANKS! for giving me the link on renal info...

    __________________________________________________ _______

    "It doesn't take much if the right skills are applied."
  13. by   nightingale
    jnette: What a beautiful story! This story shall be my "warm fuzzy" for the day! Thank you for sharing it.

  14. by   jnette
    Quote from mandykal
    Thats what our career calls us for; "To go beyond the call when needed."

    THANKS! for giving me the link on renal info...

    ha ha ! You mean you finally checked your pms? :chuckle

    You're more than welcome.