Monday, October 15, 2012
What do you do when the behavior of one person upsets another? At my facility we had an incident where a resident with increased confusion was yelling at staff and calling them racial slurs and other derogatory names. This resident has had a pretty quick cognitive decline and until recently has not been this belligerent and vocal. Until recently, she was a relatively social woman who participated in many activities. Her daughters visit her several times a week. When she had this recent very public outburst, another resident who is a very social, cognitively active black woman, witness part of it. She was deeply offended and took the words being said pretty personal, though they were not directed at her.
When she came to me obviously upset, I really could not offer her any comfort. I tried to explain to her that the resident yelling is sick and it is her illness that is causing her to say such things. And there are times when, though we would like to, we can not change a person’s behavior. Just because you are in a nursing home, you are not sheltered from or immune to, the ugly in the world.