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Sunday, November 24, 2013


I have a few pet peeves when it comes to nursing home life.

Okay, maybe more than a few. :)

Often, I overhear the aides saying, "Jones want to get up for lunch."

"Jones" is Annie Jones. (not a real name). But the aides often refer to patients by their last names. I respond, "I prefer that you call me Darlene. I will accept Mrs. Franklin. But please don't call me 'Franklin.' I am not now nor was I ever a female version of my (ex) husband."

The issue is: See me as a person. Not as a last name (or even worse, in hospitals, as room numbers) At worst we should have a cordial working relationship and at best, we can be friends.

This week I have received a few reminders that respect runs both ways..

How about the time I hollered an after-thought to my request for aide out the door. The nurse passing by asked, "how about a please?"

Oh. Duh.

Or the morning I screamed in the shower--throwing a toddler-like fit--that they shouldn't ask me to walk on the wet floor. This aide does everything she can to make me comfortable. After I finished my fit, she asked, in her broken English (she speaks about a little more English than I do Spanish): "Do you not want me to be your aide any more?" And the next day she asked someone else to help me. We worked it out.

Today was another one of those times. I watched the clock go past eight (when my meds are scheduled). . .past nine (the legal deadline for delivery for meds scheduled at 8) . . .until nearly 10. I prepared to confront Janie.

When she walked through my door, I gave her a piece of my mind. She looked ready to cry, mumbled some kind of excuse, and left the blood pressure cuff on my wrist while she counted out my meds.

While I waited, I realized that I had overlooked the person behind the job. I hadn't greeted her, hadn't asked after her health, or made any friendly gestures before launching into my tirade.

When she came back in, bearing gifts of pain killers and cough syrups and other such wonder pills, I said, "let's start the morning over. How are you today?" We affirmed our friendship for each other.

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Even in--especially in--a nursing home.

Most of the aides get it.

It's time I got it, too.


chris granville said...

Wonderful! Fantastic!

Emma Guerrero said...

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bonton said...

I think this post hit home for a lot of us, Darlene!

I think part of the problem is that at times, it is hard to be nice - when you are in pain. No excuse, I know - but understandable, & all we can do is ask forgiveness - of both the Lord, & the person we have offended, & then start over - as you did with the aide!

Thanks for the reminder!