When working with seniors, we are often dealing with people at their extremes. They can be vulnerable and frail or aggressive and violent – often within short periods of time.
The doctors, nurses, social workers, CNAs, case managers and caregivers have a lot to deal with. Some of it can be very rewarding and fulfilling, some traumatic and disturbing.
People in these professions witness human behavior at its best and at its worst. We watch as a family comes together to support each other and hold hands around a bedside to pray as the ventilator is turned off. We also witness horrific abuse that victimizes the most vulnerable amongst us.
In the moments that we are privileged to be a part of and even in the deaths, the involvement of committed professionals can make the process easier for dying patients and grieving families. We also know that the wrong words, a botched blood draw or the wrong medication can have drastic consequences.
I have observed that no amount of advanced technology or life-saving drugs affect a senior more than how they are treated by the skilled and unskilled staff. It is often the nurse or social worker who saw a need and listened to a voice that made a difference. If you work in healthcare or have a loved one that can’t toilet or feed themselves, you know exactly what I am talking about.
These caregivers that do their profession with excellence are true heroes. They have a staggering amount of responsibility and they do their job while caring for our loved ones with compassion and dignity – often with schedules that take a toll on their own families with missed holidays and school plays.
For all the nurses, caregivers and case managers that are stressed and stretched beyond their capacity and for the staff running from one disaster to the next, I say THANK YOU to the good people that are passionate about what they do and truly make a difference. You are loved.