Commentary

Nursing home residents need attention by public

Dear editor,

For the past month, I have been doing PRN work at a local nursing home. It has been an eye-opening experience, to say the least.

I want to educate the public to an awareness of what it is to care for the elderly and disabled community.

Clothing for persons that are elderly or disabled need to be appropriate for the age and/or disability.

Do you have any ideal how hard it is to dress an individual that doesn’t have full range of motion in their limbs?

Imagine trying to dress someone with stiff limbs in blue jeans or tight fitting clothing that doesn’t stretch the way we need it to in order to dress these residents.

Clothing needs to be loose fitting and easy to get on and off. Elastic waist pants are ideal for someone with disabilities or aging. I know these things have probably never crossed your mind, but, as a caregiver, it’s vital to have clothing that is appropriate to dress these individuals.

There is also an issue of equipment needs. Many are unable to walk or even turn themselves in bed.

Facilities are very low, making it hard and dangerous to lift the patients and care for their needs. If you or someone you know, has access to a hospital bed no longer needed, please call and ask your local nursing homes if they can use them.

Having a bed that adjusts is a lifesaver in caring for patients in need. It also saves the backs of caregivers caring for your loved ones. The same applies to walkers, wheelchairs and other medical equipment.

The saddest situation is lack of visitation to these patients.

I worked Easter Sunday. During my four-hour shift, only two residents had visitors.

One resident, realizing it was Easter, kept asking the staff “when are we having church?”

During my shift, not one church group or any other organization showed up to visit. I’m hoping this all changed after my shift ended and more people did show up to visit. It was very heart breaking to witness.

Residents in these facilities are in situations beyond their control. They can’t help their age or their disability. It is what we all have to look forward to later in life unless we die young.

Put yourself in their shoes. They can’t just get up and go to town or visit family.

They are stuck in a world beyond their control

If it were you or your loved one, wouldn’t you want to be visited? Wouldn’t you want clothing and equipment to suit your needs?

Their needs for clothing and equipment is vital to being the best physically they can be.

As for mental and emotional needs, we all need to step up to the plate.

They say it takes a village to raise kids. It takes the same village to care for the elderly and disabled.

You aren’t promised tomorrow. You, no matter what your age, can end up needing the same care and needs as the people we take care of now.

Wouldn’t you want the best care and equipment, if it were you?

Sincerely,

Becky Caywood Woolf becky_ caywood@yahoo.com


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2012-04-12 digital edition



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