Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Connection

This post will be short, but to the point, and just had to share something that happened with me today.  I had clinicals today at the nursing home.  I've been helping out at meal times in the assisted dining area (an area where people have either mechanical/emotional/psychosocial barriers to eating on their own) and was working with a resident who is 92 years old and has pretty advanced dementia.  Her food has to be pureed, never a pretty sight of course, but unavoidable given her medical issues.  She was taking pretty good bites for me (forgot to mention she can't talk, but sometimes does hum) and as I was pausing between spoonfuls of food I put my hand down on hers and just touched her.  Such a simple thing but it seemed to make a big difference.  I can't tell you she perked up per se, but she did start taking bigger bites for me and I continued to hold her hand in between bites.  After she was mostly finished eating I just held her hand for quite sometime and her face got very relaxed and her eyes drifted close just a bit, she seemed at peace.  Not having worked with dementia patients much before I sought out my teacher to tell her about my experience and find out some more about what I could expect with them.  She said, for all I know, the patient was possibly imagining that my touch was maybe that of her mother holding her hand, or perhaps a long deceased friend come back to visit, any number of things.  It touched me, and I think it will always stay with me.
So simple, yet so important.  No song can accompany that.

2 comments:

Tiffany said...

I think that is great! Sometimes a simple touch can mean the most. Those are the moments that make what you are doing worthwhile. I hope somebody holds my hand when I am old and can't feed myself...

AlaskaMe said...

That's awesome and you probably totally made that womens day.