When someone asks me what I do for a living, I’m a little embarrassed. I’m a director of admissions at a nursing home, but as soon as I say, “nursing home” most people either wrinkle their nose and change the subject, or go on about how they admire people who work in nursing homes because they couldn’t do it.
Nursing homes aren’t dark, smelly places where old people go to die, in case that’s what you were thinking. Our facility has wide hallways, large courtyards, and lots of windows. It doesn’t smell any more than anyone else’s home. We have all kinds of wonderful people who live and work there.
We have former factory workers, homemakers, salespeople, writers, bookkeepers, artists, farmers, and everything in between. Each person has a story, if you take the time to listen.
One of our restorative aides gave me a poem today that reminded me how special the caregivers for the elderly are:
If We Don’t… Hold their hands, Dry their tears, Try to calm their fears ...Who Will?
If We Don't... Ease their pain, Take their side, Go along for the ride ...Who Will?
If We Don't... Show compassion, Be a friend All the way to the end ...Who Will?
If We Don't... Soften our heart, Open our hand, And try to understand ...Who Will?
If We Don't... Provide dignity, Show respect, Seek to abolish neglect ...Who Will?
-by Susan Ryan
God bless everyone who works with the elderly, the infirm, the injured and the disabled. Thank you for taking time to truly see the people you serve everyday. You are an inspiration.