At times I think we feel that holding a hand or just being quiet and present isn’t enough, but Lana (name changed for privacy) showed me that it indeed can be enough. Lana didn’t speak much, but I saw her speak through touch. She would sit close, with an arm around a crying resident, holding her hand and offering support, which helped to calm and console the resident.
I’ve heard people say that the people on the memory unit “aren’t there,” but that is absolutely not true. Lana always had a funny story to share – lifting the spirits of anyone who came to visit. She often shared her recliner or bed with a resident who couldn’t find their way back to their room. Often times she would alert me to the needs of other residents, many of whom weren’t on our service, before I was able to help her with her needs. She reminded me to serve with a smile, to put the needs of others first, and to never let the task become more important than the person.
Sherra A., RN
Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC