Friday, August 21, 2009

Growing Old - Part 2

Today was my last nursing assistant clinical.   I have spent the last few days preparing to enter the nursing home and then actually aiding nurses aides (yes- I am at the very very bottom of the healthcare ladder) in some nursing homes in and around the Salt Lake City area.  It has been an interesting experience - one I think I am still in the process of reflecting on. 

Some of the residents amazed me.  For example, I met one fabulously beautiful woman and former model that just had her 100th birthday!  She is one of the few residents still up and walking around and has a beautiful picture of her family on her night stand that includes FIVE generations!  Very impressive - what a long and beautiful life she has lived!

I also met a resident that was new to the home, having arrived only the night before.  Imagine her confusion at being in a new place, with someone completely in charge of her life, dictating what you eat and when, what you wear...  I didn't fully grasp what a difficult adjustment each of these residents have gone through until I saw it today.  I wish her the best...

Mostly- I witnessed my own limitations.  The most basic being that I should probably lift some weights before I ever get a job in a nursing home... my arms are severely lacking in the necessary muscle.  Those CNA's work very hard over there and even with TWO students helping, there was never a restful moment.  After only a few days I am so much more exhausted than I would be after hours and hours of dancing. I commend them all so much for what they do! 

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