One of the ladies needed a sympathetic ear to bend the other night. She was talking about not being able to do the baking she always did for the holidays, not being able to go out to see her sister on Christmas, and just the general funk she was feeling about being a "cripple". I agreed with her that the first Christmas in a nursing center is a tough one. All the things that you used to have are gone and you're left with what will fit in a space the size of a small bedroom.
We can help them by encouraging them to attend the activities that they can. Take them to the dining room for supper. Bring them to the sun room or outside if the weather is warm enough. The bright side is that our facility seems to do a great job bringing people in to sing, dance, and otherwise entertain the residents. We also do an angel tree so each employee buys a secret Santa gift for a resident. Extra hugs and smiles go a long way, too.
Another way we can help is by taking care of ourselves. Getting enough rest, eating our veggies, and not drinking too much are all good ideas. Tired, over-sugared, and hung-over Nursing Assistants are not able to lift their own spirits much less those of their resident's.
This is my last blog post until after the New Year. Everyone have a safe and happy holiday, whichever one(s) you celebrate. See you on the other side.