Friday, September 11, 2009

Nuggets from the Ridge

Joseph told Assistant that she could "hold it for a minute" when she assisted him to the bathroom. Very thoughtful, no?
Gladys fell. She didn't break any bones, but she is very sore. She doesn't remember falling, doesn't remember getting x-rays, and she doesn't remember that she hurts until she tries to move. It's awful. Every time she tries to get up or move we have to remind her what happened, which usually causes her to be very upset that she doesn't remember something as serious as a fall. It's a vicious circle. But, true to her personality, she still has a great attitude. She was lamenting about what was going to happen to her and that she was "no good to anyone," when I told her she didn't need to worry about any of that and to just sit there and look pretty. Without hesitation she looks at me so seriously and says, "Well, you'll have to find me a fake face if you expect me to do that!" Have I ever mentioned that I love her?
Because she is so sore, the staff have been helping Gladys get ready for bed at night. One evening as Gladys sat on the toilet, Assistant was gathering her night clothes. "Do you need clean underwear?" Assistant asked.
"I don't know. I'll have to check," Gladys replied as she bent over and took a deep sniff at the crotch of her pulled down panties*. "Nope. Guess not!"
I was helping take orders during lunch. A fairly new resident, who is not only confused but also grumpy (and ready to die, as he repeatedly reminds us) was being somewhat cantankerous. He is also hard of hearing. Because I was speaking to him in a calming voice, I had to lean in close to his face so he could hear me. He looked me in the eye and said very loudly, "I don't know what you're saying to me, but if you get any closer I'm going to kiss you."

Ya can't beat old people for a smile!
Happy Weekending!

*Gladys doesn't wear underwear. She wears panties...usually pink silk. She rocks.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There's a reason Sir MixaLot didn't sing about liking BARE butts

We've lost a couple of employees these past two weeks, and although their leaving has been an overall positive thing for our team, it still presents a difficulty in covering shifts until someone new can be trained. In the interim, Assistant and I have been chipping in with meal service and resident care. While I am proud to be the type of administrator who would never ask a WorkerBee to do something I wouldn't do myself, I've decided during the challenge of the past two weeks that just because I will do something, doesn't mean I want to do it.

I can serve lunch every day for a year and really not mind it one bit. But helping someone pull their pants down and putting my hands on their bare hips to guide their exposed derriere to the john? Standing in the bathroom until they've finished "producing" (as one sweetheart resident would say) only to hand them toilet paper, help them get up off the john, and pull their pants back up? Or even worse, helping them into a dry Depends? Yeah. Not loving it.

The thing is, though, that it is worse for the residents! Being in the role of caregiver changes the dynamic of my relationship with the them. I'm the person they come to with concerns or ideas for the betterment of Rock Ridge. I'm the person to whom they can express their opinions and feel like they are having an intelligent and productive problem-solving conversation. We talk about things that make them feel like they still have value as a human being. It makes them feel important and useful. When they hold their Resident Council Meetings and ask me to give the Administrative Report, not one of them wants to watch me talk and have to think "she's seen my naked butt." I hate that for them.

And being totally truthful here, I hate it for me.

Because I now know exactly what my ass is going to look like in 60 years.

Yeah. Not loving it.