One of our nursing home residents was a retired nurse, and she could be a handful. She could not communicate verbally, but she let you know what she was thinking by her actions. When I worked night duty, she would wander to the nurse’s station. At that time, I wore a white uniform and cap. I would place my nurse’s cap on her head and let her look in a mirror. She would smile, and I wondered what memories crossed her mind.
One night, when I was off, she went to the nurse’s station looking for me. One of the aides said, “We fired her.”
Like I said, she had a way to make her feelings known. She slapped the aide, and marched back to her room.
I sat with her the day she traveled to her heavenly home. I held her hand and talked softly to her. She opened her eyes and said those special words, “I love you.”
There was a frail, but gutsy little lady who suffered with arthritis. When I wasn’t busy, I would sit with her in the dark of night and listen to her stories. Her husband died young and she took over his construction business – installing guardrails along the highways. At first, the burly men were not keen on taking orders from a little bit of a woman. But she stood her ground and won their respect.
Talking seemed to ease her pain more than the pain medication.
She won my admiration – in pain, but not a complainer.
Each resident touched my heart – each with a story of their own.
The group of nurse’s aides who worked there were the best. They have a hard job, and it made my heart glad when I could see them take pride in the residents – bathed, dressed, hair combed and, maybe, just a little bit of makeup to boost their morale.
Take time to visit family members or friends in the nursing home or in their own homes.
It will be well worth your time.