Memories are our friends.
Bring them out and relive and enjoy them..
No, I’m not senile or living in the past.
I know my name, date and the president.
Like – who hasn’t heard of President Trump?
The say children say the cutest things, but I believe the elderly beat them at that game.
I wish I had written down the stories and things that I have heard and seen – what a treasure that would be!
Instead, I’ll relate some things that have been stored away in my memory.
A young P.A., working for Dr. John Sharp years ago, was interviewing and doing an exam on a new resident at the nursing home.
He asked the usual questions – name, date, president?
She sweetly replied, “I know my name, but not the other questions. But, I know where I’m going. Do you, Sonny?”
I worked at Pocahontas Center for 13 years, and those were some of the best years of my nursing career – and produced some of the best stories.
One lady could never remember my name.
I told her my mom always said, “Gerry, Gerry, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”
A few days later I asked her if she remembered my name. She frowned and said, “No, but I know you’re contrary.”
One little black lady was blind and she feared venturing out of her room. Since she liked to sing, I would walk with her to the dining room, singing, “Sugar in the Morning.”
One day she said, “Sugar, I love you, but you can’t carry a tune in water bucket.”
To help residents maintain their association skills and to get them to communicate, we would sit in a circle and talk about the “object of the day.”
One day, the object was “apple,” and everyone was to say whatever came to their minds when they thought of an apple.
“Picking apples, fell out of the tree and broke my arm,” one lady said.
Making apple butter in a big black kettle came up, and several people talked about recipes for apple pie.
My “contrary” friend went into great detail about her recipe, and then turned to me and asked how I made my apple pies. I told her I went to the freezer area in the store, took the pie home and popped it in the over.
She wailed, “Honey! Tell me that’s not so!”
Some residents like short visits, but most like long visits from their family members.
When one lady’s daughter paid her a short visit, she was very disgruntled.
She rang her call bell, and when I entered her room, she said, “She didn’t stay long enough to cool her shoe leather.”
Her daughter and I shared many laughs about that over the years.
Our elderly folks sometimes suffer trauma in their later years – from floods or fires or separation from family. Such situations often make them fearful.
One such lady wanted to just stay in her room, but I was usually able to calm her fears.
The aides would bring her to my office, which was the only direction they could get her to go.
I would talk to her and always tell her that I loved her.
After months of this routine, she answered me back one day with, “I love you.”
Those words were worth more to me than a paycheck.
To be continued…