When you work in long term care, you come to appreciate EXTREMELY quickly all the every day things we do that we wouldn’t normally think about:
Going to the bathroom: Pulling down your own pants, pulling them back up, being able to wipe yourself, not having to wear diapers, not having constepation be an issue ALL the time, standing up on your own from the toilet.
I have a resident who asks me EVERY DAY why she can’t do things on her own. What do I tell her? That you’re old, get over it? No. I tell her that sometimes, EVERYONE needs help, that she’s not a lone. Does it help? For a little while, yes, but this isn’t something that will get better with time.
Eatting: Cutting your own food, eatting regular food as opposed to minced or puree, being able to eat when you want, where you want.
There isn’t a lot of variety in long term care. There are set meal times and there are set meals. Your entire life runs on a schedule. You want McDonalds at 11pm? Sure, who’s getting it for you?
Showering: Loofas! Being able to wash your own hair, wash your own privates, wash your OWN BODY. BY YOURSELF. WITH NO SUPERVISION.
Enjoy it while you can.
What I’ve talked about here are your basic ADLS, or Activities of Daily Living. Things we do every day without even thinking about. Getting dressed. Picking out our own clothes. Brushing our hair. Eatting a steak with a steak knfe instead of a spoon.
This is their life. Appreciate yours.