Not only am I a PSW, but sometimes I get to be a cop. More specifically, a member of the medicine police who goes around making sure residents take their medication instead of hoarding it in drawers. Not surprisingly, this tactic worked on one such resident who was extremely stubborn in giving her little white and blue pills up. Her grip was like that of a mouse trap, holding on tight to a balled up napkin in her tiny little fist. Whether or not she believe I was the police we’ll never really know, but the important thing is that it worked.
I don’t like to deceive people, but in certain situations with certain types of people you’re left with no other option.
The other day at work we had an in service on proper dental care for the elderly. It was brought to our attention that not a lot of seniors are properly brushing their teeth or dentures. Well, duh. If someone with dementia doesn’t know how to use a fork, how on earth are they supposed to manage brushing their teeth? As a PSW, this can be a dangerous task because there’s always the chance of getting bitten. Oh yes, biting happens and it HURTS. I do have some residents that are capable of brushing their own teeth and all they need is a little supervision.
Brushing dentures is also just as important. Did you know that Pollident and other such products do nothing? All they really do is provide minty fresh water for false teeth to relax in over night. If dentures aren’t cleaned properly mold and fungus an develop which in turn affects the gums in the resident’s mouth. A long with the fact a lot of detailed, disturbing pictures were shown during this presentation that scared the crap out of me. I dislike the dentist more than any other medical profession – why, I don’t know, it just makes me very uncomfortable – so this in service didn’t do much other than influence my irrational fear.
Other than that, my residents are lovely. All is well at work, no one has died – yet.
It’s a matter of time.