Sunday, May 6, 2012

Lessons: Sweet moments on the job

So as I posted in Louis 8 month blog, I started a new job a little under a month ago working home health with the elderly population.

I am starting to think this is the population God wants me to be with in my career. Working with older adults comes natural to me, and I enjoy their company and working with them.

In my first 2 weeks on the job I did some shadowing of other therapists and nurses. The 2 stories I have come from those 2 weeks.

1.Love Always and Forever

   I will call this lady, Mrs. Kelly ( names changed for HIPPA.)

   Mrs. Kelly is a lady in her mid 80s. However, I knew looking at her and how she kept up her appearance she must have been a beautiful woman in her younger  years. Her eyes although are that of a older lady, they are still big brown and beautiful. 

The PT I was with warned me she could be a talker so I tried to keep conversation short, but Mrs. Kelly was a story teller. She begin to tell me about how her life all started with her husband. How she was working in Cali and had dreams of being a star, and then this amazing man came into her life. As she called him the first time she saw him " a handsome devil." She told me he courted her for exactly 3 months before he said " I am going to ask you to marry me, and if you say no I am out that door forever." She told me she didn't know why she said yes, but a few months later she married him.

So what makes it so special? Every time she mentioned her "handsome devil" her face would light up with joy and although her gray hair is pulled back neatly into a little blue bow and her make-up perfectly done, for those moments she looked 20 again and like she was seeing him in her mind for the first time. She went on to tell me more about her life with him. She came from a military family and married a military man. I had never met someone who had led such a wonderful life with such a handsome devil, and had felt so fulfilled with the things she had done/seen in life.

I could have sat with her the rest of the day to hear her stories, and to see her relive her youth in her beautiful memories.

2. Imagination is not limited to age

     I will call this one Mr. G. 

I met Mr. G while riding along with a nurse. He was living in a type of  retirement community center. 

I sat on his sofa looking at all the decor posted all about his little apartment. I noticed that he had fishing and a boat theme near where I was sitting so I asked if he had enjoyed fishing. I had also seen multiple animal beanie babies hanging from the iron canopy frame above his bed, but I didn't want to ask about that at the time.

So he begins to tell me his world his had built for his imagination. He tells me that he has all his boats heading out to sea on the wall, and then next to that is the fish in the sea ( or aquarium) that all over look his horizon ( or window). Then he points behind him and says on  each side of him he has pictures of the animals that will come to the water to drink, and to one side a picture with a city landscape. And where is he? In his recliner at the edge of the water looking at all the beauty around him.

Now you are probably wondering if he was crazy or bipolar. The answer is no. He decorated his place to have fun and exercise his imagination. I thought it was adorable and admirable. Why are we so scared to have fun with our imagination as we age?

I see a client now that lives down the hall from Mr. G. I pass outside of his door to multiple dog/puppy figurines there to great his guests. There is also a figurine of a old water pump so the dogs can have water!

Every time I pass, my day is made and I can't help but smile.

You may or may not enjoy these stories. I can't write them as well as I would like because I can't give the information out about people, but I love this population, learning from them, and helping them live better lives.

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