Saturday, March 13, 2010

How we view the elderly

I cut this photo out of the Sunday Times magazine a couple of weeks ago because I thought it was a lovely, thought-provoking image.

Snapped by Lord Snowdon, it shows a 95 year old lady sharing a dance with her carer.

What struck me immediately is the look of joy on her face. She did not care about the colour of his skin, his age or his religion, whether he is wealthy or well educated. She was just enjoying the moment.

It then made me think about how many of our elderly go for days, or even weeks without any physical contact with another human being. When my mum was in the nursing home for the final months of her life I was shocked to learn that many of the people who lived there did not get any visitors at all. No-one to stroke their hair or squeeze their hand. No-one to acknowledge that they have a purpose or even matter in the scheme of things.

Then I remembered this poem. I spotted it when we visited a beautiful garden in St Margaret's at Cliffe last year. It is so insightful that I was amazed to read that it was written by a 13 year old boy.

I think I'm feeling reflective because today is Mother's Day in the UK.

4 comments:

Helegant said...

Susie,
One idea that appealed to me was to make a 'memories album' to stay in the room with an elderly resident; to tell the carer about their life, and also to remind the person. Otherwsie an alzheimer's patient has no 'identity', Helen

Helegant said...

Susie,
One idea that appealed to me was to make a 'memories album' to stay in the room with an elderly resident; to tell the carer about their life, and also to remind the person. Otherwsie an alzheimer's patient has no 'identity', Helen

Susie Hewer said...

That's a great idea Helen and it has been adopted by some of the better nursing homes. I think it's really important for all elderly people to keep in touch with who they are but for people suffering from dementia it provides a link for their carers too.

I don't know if you saw Can Jerry Robinson Fix Dementia Care Homes? on TV recently but that showed the huge difference in the quality of care that people get. It also showed what a difference small changes can make to a person's life.

I imagine that your role must be very important for those who are both elderly and alone.

any said...

thank for share, it is very important . ̄︿ ̄