Jump to content

THIS Is Why I Love Geriatrics

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

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.:p

lovingtheunloved, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, home health, critical care.

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.:p

:yeahthat: Someone asked me today how I could care for "old people who are going to die anyway..." If my printer had ink I'd print this out!

casi, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC.

That gave me warm fuzzy feelings. I too like lovingtheunloved have been asked many times, especially by my peers how I could work with old people! Isn't it just depressing working with dying people?

There is soooo much more too it than that. If you look at these people as just dying your missing out on the best part of you're work.

suzy253, RN

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

I love working with the geriatric population as well. Your story gave me goose bumps on my arms. They must have been absolutely thrilled. You sound like a gem and the ppl you work with as well for arranging this special dinner for them. Bless your hearts!

AmyB

Specializes in LTC.

That was beautiful. What a wonderful story. I, too, love working with the geriatric population and am surprised by how much I miss them when I'm off.

This brought a tear to my eye. I applaud you and your staff for taking such good care of this couple's emotional needs as well as their physical needs. THIS is what nursing should be all about! You're truly inspiring!

smoo

Specializes in CNA for 5 years, LPN for 5 years.

I think this was a very wonderful story............although I'm not for sure d/t the tears in my eyes making it difficult to see the screen :crying2:

smoo

What a great story. Thanks for sharing.

HannasMom

Specializes in Geriatrics/Alzheimer's.

Marla you are a great nurse!

UM Review RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management.

Marla, what a beautiful story!!

I'm crying too, but it's the happy kind. God bless you, and all the caregivers like you!

babynurselsa, RN

Specializes in ER, NICU, NSY and some other stuff.

Marla, you guys rock!!!!

Some of us were having a conversation the other day about things we had done for patients over the years. One of the docs told about when he was a resident in Chicago how he had driven several miles out of his way to go and find a homeless patients trash bag full of belongings behind a synagogue who had been admitted and was upset because he was afraid all his stuff would be lost.

I had a family of one of my NICU babies several years ago who I found out the reason we rarely saw them was because they did not have gas money to get to the hospital. A little bird periodically left them a little gift in their baby's bed......plus a new outfit to go home in.

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

Just had to share this great story from work today.

ohhh-you made me cry.....

rnmi2004

Specializes in private duty/home health, med/surg.

What a beautiful way for the staff to show honor & respect to this couple that has gone through so much together.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Oh Marla - I wanna come live in your assisted living facility! How very special you and the staff are. The genuine warmth in your post is palpable. Thanks so much for sharing.

Keepstanding, ASN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing.

:blushkiss this is sooooo wonderful !

you are a real credit to the profession ! bless you "big time" !!

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Here's a little follow-up: Paul and Sylvia were still on Cloud Nine today, so thrilled were they by yesterday's events. Sylvia said Paul ate more than she's seen him eat at one sitting in months.......of course the food was inviting, but she said he was totally relaxed (which evidently isn't the case with him normally) and he ate hugely of the fish and salad and bread we served. They both were smiling all day, which alone was worth the price of admission so to speak, and when their daughters came in this afternoon to visit, they gave us a card and some VERY big hugs to say thanks.

These are the things that make working with the elderly so very rewarding.......it doesn't cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to do a little extra special something, yet the good feelings last a lifetime. Paul and Sylvia aren't the only ones who got something wonderful out of that impromptu party........it's something we too will always remember and be able to smile about.:nurse:

I know caring for the elderly is not for everyone, but when someone who's seen so much of life places his or her trust in me, I think of it as an honor. And when one of these dear souls reaches out a hand and holds onto my own as though it were a lifeline.......well........they end up with a pretty good-sized chunk of my heart as well.

There. I've said it. I am a steel MARSHMALLOW.:wink2:

jnette, ASN, EMT-I

Specializes in Hemodialysis, Home Health.

I love working with the geriatric population as well. Your story gave me goose bumps on my arms. They must have been absolutely thrilled. You sound like a gem and the ppl you work with as well for arranging this special dinner for them. Bless your hearts!

Oh wow ~

THANK YOU for sharing this ! This just made my night !!! That was just toooooooo good ! Bless all of you for going above and beyond... I know this couple was deeply moved !

AWESOME!

KUDOS !!!!!! :kiss

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

Oh wow ~

THANK YOU for sharing this ! This just made my night !!! That was just toooooooo good ! Bless all of you for going above and beyond... I know this couple was deeply moved !

AWESOME!

KUDOS !!!!!! :kiss

I'm glad to hear that. :nurse:

I forgot...........one of the staff members got some pictures, and there's this perfect one of the couple sitting by the table with all the decorations in view and big grins on their faces. We're going to get it printed and enlarged, then put it in a frame and give it to them. They do not yet know this.:wink2:

thsnursluvsgeriatric

Specializes in Acute, subacute and Geriatric.

Great experiencing the joy that it gave all of you. To make anyone feel special, no matter what the age blesses the giver and the receiver.

I accidentally fell into Geriatric care giving at a young age. The residents have helped me become who I am today, by the exchange of caring and acceptance.

Many more great things as well but I will end with that. God Bless.

vampiregirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice.

I know caring for the elderly is not for everyone, but when someone who's seen so much of life places his or her trust in me, I think of it as an honor. And when one of these dear souls reaches out a hand and holds onto my own as though it were a lifeline.......well........they end up with a pretty good-sized chunk of my heart as well.

Beautifully said... and so true.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×

By using the site you agree to our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies.

OK