Friday, March 4, 2016

Music Appreciation

The first week of May is Music Appreciation week. What a great week to celebrate. We all know the value of music for our clients. There are so many music activities to do from reminiscing to entertainment. So schedule in a week of music appreciation for your facility!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Long lasting love

In the nursing home, we have several husbands and wives.  None that live here, but one spouse will visit the other.  There are a few that we as staff marvel at the dedication and love they still have for each other.  I always hope that if I am in a care facility one day in the distant future, my husband will be as kind, patient, and dedicated to me.  These couples truly are inspirational.  I doubt they know they are the topic of conversation among staff for their love.  To them it is a natural thing, an extension of spending most of their lives together. But we all know that it is not the every day occur acne.  With divorce being commonplace, and couples splitting up , or never even getting married, the kind of  love that last a lifetime is rare.  A love that stays even when one person has dementia and asks the same questions over and over. Its this patience and understanding that we all desire and admire.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Making People Happy

I have learned from my job that you can't make everyone happy.  Sometimes, you have to allow someone to be upset with you in order to benefit the most people.  With so many different residents to provide activities for, there is always times when someone is not going to like what you have planned.  When it is someone who is very opinionated and vocal, it can be very disheartening and frustrating to hear complaints.  There are times I have to remind residents I work with that there are other people in the building and we have to provide a variety of groups and services.
As with residents, there are times when I have to do something that makes my boys unhappy to make things better for the good of all.  Once I became comfortable with the fact that there are times what I decide won't make some people happy, it became easier to make those decisions at home too.  Sometimes, especially as a Mom, you have to be the bad guy.
This seems like an easy lesson, but for someone who likes to make people happy, and that essentially is my job, acquiring that thick skin took me a while.  

Monday, July 1, 2013

Savor it

With my boys, there are times when I just wish I could capture that moment and keep it to review later in the same crispness of the present time.  Or to be able to visit that moment again.  Looking back on when the boys were infants, I often think that I would love to go back to that time when they were itty-bitty, just for a day.  It was crazy, sleep deprived and wonderful.  But we can't revisit them.  All we have are our memories of it.  I know that many of the older people I work with at the nursing home, spend a lot of time remembering the past.  I often think that I have to really focus to make those memories so that when I am old I can sit and think fondly of the things that happened in my life.  There are times you have to think about the moment and focus on it, to make it into a memory.  If we don't remind ourselves of the good times we may not remember them. 
Memories are not made watching TV or playing on the computer.  We make family memories from our experiences.  Camping trips, playing in the rain, hiking etc, are all moments to remember.  Both memories for us as parents, but also for the kids to look back on and think about the fun they had.  Maybe when I am old and forgetful, they can visit me and remind me of those wonderful family experiences.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Horrible news....

There have been a lot of horrific events on the news over the past year.  I am thinking of Newton, and Boston and even the Oklahoma tornadoes.  Television stations play the coverage of these events continuously.   I find myself wanting to shield both my young children and the senior population from the endless barrage of bed news and terror.   My children, we just don't watch the news at home, and we try to completely shield them from seeing any of it.  The boys are young and can't understand, and question and worry and have bad dreams.  The know there are bad guys in the world, but I don't want them to worry that someone will shoot them at school.  They aren't looking at the world through rose colored glasses, but they don't need to be exposed to everything yet. There is plenty of time for that.
At work, some of the older people need to get away from all the negative drama.  I often ask the staff to turn off the TVs whenever possible and not talk about it with or in front of our resident with dementia.  These residents can not always distinguish between their own reality and what had happened elsewhere in the world.  They may worry about their children and their safety.  Other residents just need a break as well.  Watching negative TV all day can be very depressing for anyone.  We always encourage people to turn off the TV and to say a prayer for the people and for the helpers and first responders.  We try to channel their worry into something positive.  Its OK to encourage residents to turn off the TV and get out of their rooms.  Plan a fund raiser to help.  Anything to help them turn the negative into a positive for them and let them feel that they are somehow helping make things better.  Because really, isn't that what we all want to do?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Celebrate Life

Today a family member gave her mother (one of our residents) a "Celebration of Life" party.  Her mother, is declining.  When the daughter and the mother were discussing death and all that it entails, funerals etc, the mother stated she wants to be a part of the party.  Hence today's event.  It was a lot of fun and the mom and daughter, both had a great time and enjoyed themselves.  Celebrating someone's life when they are still alive doesn't happen that often.  But why not.  We need to let our elders know how much they are loved and appreciated when they are still with us.  Actually, we need to do that for everyone who is special to us; no matter what the age.  We all know that life is short and can be taken away from us at any time.  Celebrate life when your elderly loved one is still alive to celebrate, and feel loved and special.  She may be gone tomorrow.     

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bad Behavior

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.