Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fun at work


Most of you know that I work at a long term care center, more commonly known as a nursing home. People often tell me they could never do that or that it must be a depressing place to work. It's not true! We have often said we could write a book with some of the funny things that happen here. For the most part our residents are happy. It isn't the first choice of where they want to live, but we have had people come back because they are lonely at home and miss the interaction. We joke around with our residents, do special things with them and several staff members take them out on their own time because we really love them. I thought I would share a few stories with you to give you an idea of some of my days.
One of my ladies knows who each staff member is. She calls some people by their correct name, but many have a different name that she consistently calls them. For example - her name for me is Marilyn. She knows exactly who I am and says she is glad to see me again when I have a day off. She thinks my last name is Supervisor because she saw it on my name tag. She also calls me an "officer". When she thinks her things are missing (which happens frequently) she will look for me so I can fill out a report. She tell me there are "juveniles" in the building and that we have to check references better. This lady never seems very concerned about this, as soon as the "report" is filed, she goes about her business. It can be hard to keep a straight face when she starts telling me these things.

Last week I was feeding dinner to another of our residents. She is 97 years old and like many older people, eating isn't one of her favorite things to do. She told me she wasn't very good at it. She gets a supplemental shake and seeing a full cup will often make them refuse the whole thing. I was pouring it into the cup, a little at a time and then letting her drink it. She got a little smile on her face, looked at me and said "I know what you're doing, you know". A few minutes later she said to me - "You're kind of cute". Isn't that sweet? I thought so too, until she said - "for an old lady!" Considering the fact that she is 97 and I am 47, I'm just hanging on to the fact that she is confused with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's!

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21 comments:

Melinda said...

God bless you for doing this work! I worked as an EMT years ago and much of my work involved runs back and forth from long term care facilities. I too loved most of the patients I encountered and could write a whole book of funny stories. Your kindness touches lives in a special way.

Andrew Bruins said...

I think you need to tell the story about the time you got bit. That's a classic.

Cherdecor said...

Those stories are funny, but I too, want to hear about the time you got bit! I bet you could write a book!

Nancy said...

I like to think we make them happy just talking with them like real people, some of them have very interesting stories, real or imagined

Jennifer said...

I think I would like having you for a nurse, Mari. And you ARE sweet. :)

Musicaljean said...

I hope there will still be nurses like you if I should ever need to be at a place like that. You go, Marilyn Supervisor!

Diane said...

Hahahahaha..."Old" people can be so funny sometimes! They're not so caught up in the busy-ness of stuff and can usually just enjoy life.

BTW - I think you're kinda cute too for an old lady! ;)

Rebekah said...

I wish all nursing homes had your staff working there.

And what about getting Bit? sounds like it would be a good story

Cheri said...

I don't care if you want to be humble- I will say to my dying day that it takes a special gift to work there and you are special.
They are so fortunate to have all the wonderful staff working there!

Kristie said...

Too funny! I hope I am funny when I'm that age.

photomama said...

My favorite of all time is the maxine cartoon. My cousin and I send them back and forth. Love the stories, it certainly wasn't a dull job for me at my facility either, "supervisor"!LOL

Jennifer said...

What a hoot! I agree, you are kinda cute, for an old lady. Too funny!
Thanks for doing what you do.
Smiles!

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

That makes me an old lady too! :) Bless you for being a caregiver!

Have a wonderful day,
Kathi :)

Lynn said...

I loved these stories! I love that you honor and cherish our elderly. Way to go Marilyn Supervisor!!!

Growin' with it! said...

isn't it interesting that at the beginning years and the ending years of life that things are said in stride that any other time in life would be offensive or strange! she sounds like an adorable lady who would be fun to hang around with. sounds like a job full of great perks!

Anonymous said...

Oh Marilyn
It does take a special person to work there! Terri

~Just A Thought Ginger said...

Mari, this made my heart smile. My dear friend's mother was in the nursing home right around the corner from where I live. She was neglected and almost died two weeks ago. She has since been moved to a new facility and my friend almost cried when she stopped to see her mom and someone had come in the room and was singing hymns to her and reading scripture.

Yes, you are gifted, a blessing, and not really THAT old :) Thanks for caring for our elderly. I hope if the good Lord keeps me here a long while, you will care for me, too.

Pat said...

I often think of what a blessing you are to those who live in your facility. Our greatest fear is facing that day we have to place our loved one (or ourself!) in a nursing home. If we could be assured that the staff consisted of people like you, what a burden lifter that would be!

Deb said...

Isn't great?? Love it!! Always will!
You are that special ladies everything. LOL Keep up the good work and have FUN!!

Amy said...

Love it. Your patients must be so lucky to have you.

Shelly said...

You are an old lady! Whoops, I mean kinda cute! LOL You are awesome. God made you the way you are so you could be there for them. Also, those stories are funny. Put a smile right on my face.

SAY--22million DOLLARS!!! MY PANTS ARE IN MY GROIN!

YOU HAVE TO LIVE BY THE DAY, TAKE IT AS IT COMES AND DO WHAT YOU CAN DO-AT LEAST I CAN STILL GET AROUND!!!!