On the human front as well as working with all different ages we work with some very special elderly people and this post is dedicated to them.
Sometimes we all forget, with our own personal lives, that these wonderful people all had a busy life in their past, but due to circumstances now live alone for the majority of a day. Their highlights being often just a relaxing radio station, the television or cd's which are set up to repeat and repeat and repeat. For some they live in silence, listening to the sound of the birds, the cars driving along the road, the rain or people and dog watching out of their window or the deafening sound of machines, oxygen machines, machines in hospitals. For others they look forward to their carers going in, this often being the highlight of their day, albeit for often just ten or fifteen minutes each time. Some elderly individuals are made comfortable in bed at an early hour, and have to stay there for often more than 12 hours . . . What thoughts, would go through your head if you were stationary for all those hours
Perhaps we could start this off :
1 I would so much like to just talk to so and so, but I feel I would be a nuisance, they have a busy life to lead.
2 I wonder what news my Carer will bring me this morning?
3 I wonder how my Carers daughter is today
4 If only I could just get up and move a bit
5 I feel I am such a nuisance asking everyone to do my shopping for me
6 I would so like to do my own shopping, at a quiet time though, because my ears can't cope with all the noise now.
7 I love having my family together but sometimes I find it difficult to hear them and often get frustrated, so sometimes I just say no, thank you, I'll not come over today, not because I don;'t want to
8 I feel I am just in the way
9 I wish everyone wouldn't come at once, I live in a partly silent world for the majority of the world these days and find it too much these days, it's exhausting and the personal conversation I would so like to have doesn't take place
10 I am so lucky having my personal carers, they are like family, they are the highlight of my day, my family live so far away you see.
11 I would love to have visits from some younger children, they make me feel young but often they think I am a fuddy duddy.
12 I so wish I still had my cat or dog, they were such company, maybe I could have a budgie! or a visiting cat or dog instead.
13 I wish more people would connect on my 'ageing level' of communication.
14 I can't take in a normal conversation any more, I feel I am closing in, it would be so wonderful if people could talk about something that I can remember or a topic that I feel relaxed to talk about or something along the lines of my 'old work' or ask me questions about my school days or when I was a child - I can remember these things and talking about such things stimulates that side of my brain that is ageing quicker than I think
During their moments of quiet, they think of their families, their grand children, the horses, dogs and/or cats they used to have but now they just have that favourite photograph sitting on the mantle piece of perhaps their much loved pet or wife or husband. often finding themselves speaking to the picture wishing so much that they were still with them. Or looking at the picture of their Son or daughter, Grand children wondering ' I wonder what they are doing now' or reminiscing on days gone by,perhaps their first swimming lesson, or their first day at school.
But during this same day while they are thinking their 'family thoughts' many of their families are busy working in the office, wondering perhaps what they are going to go out and buy for lunch, or who they are going to see in the pub on that evening, or perhaps what they are going to have or cook for tea, or thinking ' I suppose we will have to go and see Granddad and Granny this weekend.
Our elders often live and breathe for us on a 24/7 basis, a question for us all should be ' how often do we think about our Grandparents, or does it sometimes seem a chore to visit these wonderful olderly folk.
Grandparents should be treasured, they are full of a wealth of experience and wisdom and should be accepted as they are on the day of visiting, not as they used to be, they can not take time back, they are what they are, precious human beings with a History, a history of sadness and happiness, much of which we have yet to experience or are experiencing. They can be your Staff and Mentor, until that day when you become their Staff and Mentor. Enjoy them, sit with them, play music with them, talk to them or read them a story, enjoy a conversation about yester years, that was their life, that is what they know and was what they loved.
Often they feel inadequate because they are not able to dry the dishes or remember where the cutlery should go or remember which drawer the pans go in, these little things are not important, does it really matter where the cutlery goes, or where that frying pan is put, it may irritate us, but they think they are doing right, let them think this otherwise it creates a feeling of contempt for all, an upset that is, in reality, not necessary or indeed healthy.
Perhaps if they have to go to the toilet, rather than getting up to wash that dish, or move the dropped t.v controller, sit, just sit in the silence and feel what they feel, think what they think with what you see around their room, they sit in it for often more than 12 hours a day spare them an extra thought tomorrow. They are visually not with us forever, enjoy these treasured moments, because one day it will be too late.
On behalf of many . . thank you for taking time to read these few thoughts.