Thursday, October 9, 2014

Demented Pine Cones

Does this photo suggest I am just a little over-revved, not to say demented, at my new job?

I'm holding a tray of table decorations we made: pine cones glued onto circles of felt.

They were supposed to be owls, with eyes glued on the cones, but I have learned that the people I work with do not wait for nor follow instructions---they just start glueing stuff on! The results tend to be more interesting than cookie-cutter crafts. 

 Thursday is my one full day, and by mid-afternoon, one of the residents told me, 
"Sit down and take a break. They will run you ragged."

She's very with-it, obviously, and I thanked her for seeing that I was going full tilt the whole time, which is not sustainable.
It's odd to see the various stages of dementia--this resident was so right about me, but when we talked more later, she couldn't tell me where she used to live.

I try not to put people on the spot by asking such specific questions---it just highlights the deficits in their memory--but I let her emotional insight mislead me. 
I will learn to let people show me who they are. 
And I will learn to pace myself.

But right now I am so tired, I'm going right to bed. 
At 6:30 PM, yes. 


Zhoen said...

Yup. Slow down to something closer to their pace.

I always spoke to my demented patients, no matter how apparently far gone. Told them what I was doing, said good-morning. One woman was a screamer, that's all she did all day. One day I approached her and greeted her, "How are you doing today, Weezie?"

"Oh, I'm feeling very well today."

We had a long, lucid conversation. An hour later she was gone again. She had a few more episodes for a few days, speaking with her husband who visited daily.

You never know what is getting through to the undamaged bits of their brains.

Fresca said...

Yes, I've already experienced that too--a woman who can't speak makes distinctive paintings--she's still "in there" for sure.

My problem is that there are 29 residents--they would absorb ALL the energy I could throw at them.
I have to accept that I cannot meet all their needs, not even most of them, so I may as well slow down and at least be able to stay.

Fresca said...

P.S. You can see by the time of my comment that I didn't go to bed at 6:30... but I'm going NOW, at 7:30. :)

Laura B said...

Frankie, I'm so excited for you in your new job! And I'm sure you will learn to pace yourself...after a few days of going to bed at 6:30 (or 7:30)pm!

Fresca said...

Thanks, Laura. I want your help!!!