Years ago I worked in a nursing home where there were a couple of residents who fell in love. His family was fine with it - but hers most definitely wasn't. They did everything possible to break them up - from berating her and forcing her to agree to never see him again, to calling the nursing home parent corporation demanding that I be fired for supporting them. Although my boss didn't fire me, she certainly didn't back me up. That's another story, for another time. Or not.
But the couple wanted to share a room, which is their right. Each time the woman agreed to her daughter's face that she would break up with her boyfriend, she would later tell the nursing home staff that she said it to appease her daughter and had no intention of breaking off the relationship. To support them and protect their rights, we called the Ombudsman, the state regulators, and a free legal service. Her family shunned her and even refused to spend the holidays with her in an attempt to force her to break up with the gentleman. It didn't work - and the end of her life was spent without her family supporting her. They showed up to the hospital, but there was never the opportunity for her to tell them how much she loved them and that she forgave them for not being there for her the last year of her life.
Patients in nursing homes, assisted livings, or even at home need love too. We never lose the desire to feel loved and appreciated, nor do we always fall for someone our family likes. That doesn't make it wrong, it just Is.
I really haven't given much thought about this whole blog thing, what I'd write or even if anyone would be interested. So, I've decided to share some of the stories about people I've encountered along the way.
It was my first social work job, in a nursing home, that I met Norma. She was in her late 90's and had severe Dementia - very confused. I took her to the hospital to get a mammogram and placed her History & Physical on the counter in front of her (it was part of a packet of information the nursing home sent to the hospital). Norma became upset, started banging on the counter. I asked her what was wrong.
She pointed to the H&P and the statement the doctor had made: Breasts: Unremarkable. Norma very clearly said, "My breasts are VERY remarkable!."
Today is the first day of the rest of my life! My book is for sale on Amazon.com, Amazon Createspace and as a Kindle Version. I'm really excited to be able to share my knowledge!